ERO’s findings are based on information from 34 discussion groups and 55 parent questionnaires. The discussion groups, attended by 235 parents, were held with specific communities including parents of Māori, Pacific, special needs, refugee, migrant, remote, and transient children. The purpose of the discussion groups was to listen to what parents had to say about engaging with their children’s schools, of the benefits and value of partnerships with these schools, and the challenges to effective engagement. ERO review officers organised and facilitated these discussion groups.

The questionnaire (available in English and te reo Māori) was completed by parents either in hard copy or through ERO’s website. The responses gave ERO information about:

  • parents’ involvement in general school activities;
  • perceived barriers to parent involvement;
  • the ways in which parents found out about their child’s learning;
  • the usefulness, timeliness and value of information provided by the school; and
  • parents’ perceptions (opinions and experiences) of their engagement.

Questionnaires completed by parents and whānau who stated their ethnicity as Māori, Pacific or Chinese were analysed separately for the purposes of this report. Some respondents with primary or intermediate children provided responses in te reo Māori.

Parent perspectives in this evaluation came from those who were able and willing to attend meetings or complete a questionnaire.

The appendices of the main evaluation report Partners in Learning: Schools’ Engagement with Parents, Whānau and Communities, June 2008, include a statistical breakdown of the parents involved in the discussion groups and those who completed the questionnaire.