Who are National School Surveys?
National School Surveys is based in Sydney and Melbourne, and are a division of Victorian Counselling and Psychological Services. They offer a range of contemporary survey instruments, which have been designed around recent educational research, and developed by a team of Educational Psychologists. These are reliable and valid survey instruments and are leading the way in school surveys nationwide. Being in operation for more than 20 years, our organisation has the history, integrity, and professionalism to effectively measure satisfaction, well-being, engagement, and other areas, with key stakeholders. Our surveys have the ability to benchmark your school against a pool of “like” schools. All this information will be kept completely confidential and will be the property of the principal.
Can I view a copy of all of the questions?
We will not allow the distribution of an entire set of questions; however, you may view sample questions for each key area, as well as a list of each of the key areas included in our surveys. These may be viewed on our website.
Are we able to change some of the questions?
Since all of our questions have been tested to ensure that they are reliable and valid, and that they reflect the key areas of measurement, we do not encourage schools to change any of the core questions. If your school feels that there are certain questions that are not relevant, then we may be able to remove these questions, but it will then be difficult to compare your school’s results with the benchmarks.
We are a school of certain denomination and we would like questions centred around this. Is it possible to include questions such as these?
Yes, we actually have developed sets of questions that are relevant to certain types of schools. (E.g., questions to assess bullying, online behaviour/social networking, religion, child-care, Boarding school, early learning, etc.) You may include these questions in the survey as part of the supplementary questions that is included in the survey package. Including one of these sets of questions will enable your school to be compared with other schools in these areas. We can send you examples of these questions. If you do not choose to use our specific sets of questions, you may design your own, but keep in mind that you will not be able to be benchmarked.
What is the process to set up a survey?
Once your school agrees to participate, one of our consultants will contact you to discuss your school’s needs, including which surveys you would like to participate in, who you would like to survey, and whether you require additional questions. We will ask you to fill out our School Details form so we can tailor the survey to your school’s needs. Within five working days, your school’s survey(s) will be set up and the link(s) to the survey(s) will be forwarded to you to test out. The link(s) will then need to be distributed to the relevant participants. The survey is usually kept open for about two weeks and we will keep you up-to-date with the response rate. If we (or your school) feels that there is not a sufficient response rate, we are able to extend the survey for you.
What is a sufficient response rate?
Our preferred response rates are as follows:
Current students – 80% of students who have been invited to participate
Exiting students – 50% of students who have been invited to participate
Parents – 30% of families who have been invited to participate
Staff – 70% staff members who have been invited to participate
Board Members – 90% of Board Members who have been invited to participate
Alumni – 30% of alumni who have been invited to participate
We will be able to advise you on this, and the preferred response rate can vary depending on the size of the school.
How quickly can we get the reports?
Once the survey is closed off, the report is made available within two to three weeks. This will be emailed in PDF format to your school’s principal, and two copies addressed to the principal will be posted in the mail.
Do you interpret the reports to us?
A one-hour conference call with National School Surveys is included as a part of our service. This will enable you to understand your school’s results. In addition, we can provide PowerPoint slides for a small fee. A representative can also come out to your school and present the results.
Do you provide recommendations for areas needing improvement?
Yes, we are able to provide you with recommendations about how to implement change in certain areas. This will be a part of the supplementary analyses and an educational psychologist can come out to your school and discuss these with you.
How do you analyse data?
Data are analysed using Excel and the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) Version 18.0.
Who analyses the data?
Our educational psychologists analyse the data.
How were the questions developed?
Our questions have been developed by psychologists at Victorian Counselling and Psychological Services. The process included conducting parent focus groups, discussion with teachers, principals, board members, parents, and students, distribution of written questions to parents, text analysis of responses to open-ended questions, and identification of common themes. A pilot survey was then conducted, and following this, statistical analyses were performed to ensure reliability and validity of questions, and to develop a set of key factors.
What options are there if we would like further analysis?
There are always options for supplementary analyses and our consultants will work with you to meet your requests. Depending on the nature of the analyses, there may be an additional fee involved.
Who do you send the reports to?
The report is sent to the Principal. No other individual will be able to view the report, unless specified by the Principal.
We do not have all of our parents’ email addresses. What are our options?
All of our surveys are online; however, we do have paper copies available if necessary. We will create the paper copy and it will be up to your school to distribute this. There will be a fee involved for paper copies (between $3 and $5 per survey received) which covers the costs of creation of paper survey and data entry.
What happens after we receive the report?
At the conclusion of the surveying process, we will be able to work with you to provide new structures and guidelines to implement into the school’s framework.
How many questions are in the surveys and what do they measure?
Each survey consists of approximately 50 questions and each survey measures approximately 8-10 key areas within your school. These key areas include: School Environment, School Curriculum, Morale, Guidance and Support, Personal Development, Goal Congruence, School Communication, Leadership and Management, Technology and Resources, Behavioural Values, Student Relationships, Well-Being, Preparedness, and School Events. If you would like to view sample questions, please refer to our website.
Do we have to survey all students or all parents, etc.?
We usually recommend that you survey all available parents, students, etc. However, if your school would like to target a certain audience, then that is fine too; for example, all students who participated in a Year 9 program.
Who are we benchmarked against?
Once your school agrees to participate, your school will be benchmarked against the national benchmark, which is the entire sample of respondents. You will also have the opportunity to nominate the benchmarks to be measured against for each survey (e.g., sector, location, denomination, single-sex schools, etc.), which will reveal where you stand in comparison to others.