Parental Involvement and Engagement Census Scotland 2021/22

Statistical publication providing information on the Parental Involvement and Engagement Census 2021/22.

Sample Design & Survey Administration

Sample Design

For those local authorities who undertook the PIE Census 2021/22, all parents/carers who have children in local authority primary, secondary and special schools in Scotland were invited to take part.  There is no nationally available sample frame of parents/carers with children in local authority schools in Scotland.

As questions focus on the experience with the child(ren)’s school overall, parents and carers are asked to complete the survey once for the school their child(ren) are at. Where a parent/carer has children at different schools, they are asked to complete the survey for each school their children attend. Both parents/carers are invited to complete the survey, recognising different parents/carers within a household may have differing experiences.

This collection is designed to be answered by as many parents/carers as possible. Therefore all parents/carers are invited to respond. This means this is a self-selection response, as respondents select themselves into the survey. As a result there may be differences between parents/carers who respond to the PIE Census and those who do not. As with self-selection surveys, self-selection bias arises in any situation in which individuals select themselves into a group, and can make the determination of causation more difficult. 

Survey Administration

Local authorities have the flexibility to include questions (these are not shared with Scottish Government), remove questions from the questionnaire, and adapt the introductory text to meet their local needs. Individual local authorities put in place their own arrangements for communicating with parents and administering the survey. 

Local authorities advertised their PIE Census to the parent/carer community through a variety of mechanisms including alerts to parents through school communication platforms, parent meetings, engagement with their parent councils and other parent forums, information on school website or social media, council website or social media, and emailing parents/carers a link to the questionnaire.

Parents/carers responded on their personal devices.  An option for paper completion was provided by local authorities where necessary.  Where this occurred, local authorities entered the responses onto the online platform. 

The timing of the PIE Census was a local authority decision. The design was to ask local authorities to share their PIE Census data at the end of the academic year to enable national level use. Initially, local authorities were asked to undertake their data collection at some point between January and April 2022. This was extended to June 2022 to provide more flexibility for local authorities to manage the data collection and to maximise response rates. Each local authority undertook their data collection at a point within this period which best suited their needs. This period for data collection allows local authorities to have evidence to inform their improvement activity for the next school year.

Following data collection, local authorities were asked to share their data with Scottish Government at the end of the academic year for national analysis. Local authorities shared their data between June and October 2022. The National Action Plan on Parental Engagement as well as the National Improvement Framework require evidence to ensure their aims are being delivered.


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