Click Here to Take the Schools Survey                                 

Or use the QR code below to access the survey.         

Completion time is around 10 minutes.

For many years, schools have been surveying their parents, seeking their views on many aspects of school life and using this information to make improvements. This is a central feature of school improvement planning, providing opportunities for parents to share their experiences of engagement with the school and contributing to priorities for the school going forward.

Often, and rightfully so, these surveys have asked bespoke questions depending on what subject the school is seeking parent’s views on. Also, the surveys have taken place at varying times of the year, without local authority co-ordination thus making it challenging to generate a picture of parental involvement and engagement across Edinburgh, and indeed, across Scotland.

The national Parental Involvement and Engagement (PIE) census aims to rationalise the collection of Parental Involvement and Engagement data by providing a set of questions that all authorities will be invited to ask in their respective areas, which should result in comparable data being collected. 

The Scottish Government has asked all 32 local authorities to undertake this census with parents in their local authority area before March 2022.

The census is taking place online using the SmartSurvey platform which offers many benefits including the secure collection, management and deletion of data. Indeed, preparations for the census have been rigorous to satisfy data protection legislation. Contact for a copy of the  PIE Census Privacy Statement.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the Parental Involvement and Engagement (PIE) Census?

The National Action Plan on Parental Engagement as well as the National Improvement Framework require evidence to ensure their aims are being delivered.

Surveys capturing aspects of parental involvement and engagement in Scotland are currently delivered by a range of stakeholders, including local authorities, Education Scotland and parental representation bodies such as Connect Scotland. These are largely uncoordinated exercises which do not allow for easy comparisons between different local authorities or to build a coherent national picture. The PIE Census aims to rationalise the collection of Parental Involvement and Engagement data by providing a set of questions all local authorities will be invited to ask in their respective areas, which should result in comparable data being collected.

Once available, the data will be used primarily to drive improvement at a local level but also to help monitor the progress of policies rolled out at a national level.

Which parents/carers should complete the PIE Census?

All parents/carers who have children in publicly funded primary and/or secondary schools in Scotland are invited to take part in the census. Questions will focus on the experience with the child/children’s school overall, therefore only one questionnaire per school will be issued to parents/carers with more than one child. This has the advantage of saving time parents/carers would be required to spend on answering the census questions, which is likely to have a positive impact on response rates.

What does the PIE Census ask?

The PIE Census questionnaire was designed to cover the main areas discussed in the National Action Plan on Parental Engagement. These have been condensed to fit the following themes: ‘Parental Engagement’, ‘Parental Involvement’, ‘Learning at home / in the community’ and ‘Family Learning’.

The survey has been tested and completion time of the questionnaire is between 10 and 15 minutes.

How will parents/carers complete the PIE Census?

Parents will be emailed a link to the census questionnaire provided on the SmartSurvey online platform. Parents may also access the questionnaire via a number of other routes such as the Council’s website or social media for example. Parents will be able to respond either on their personal computers, laptops, smartphones or tablets. An option for paper completion will be provided where necessary.

How will the information be kept confidential?

Responses to the PIE Census questions will remain confidential to protect all parents/carers, and access to any data would be severely restricted to those on a strict need to know basis. Any additional information that would directly identify a parent/carer, such as their name and address, are kept separate from the data generated by the responses given in the Census.

Schools will not have access to individual level parent/carer data that would identify parents. Where possible, they will see school level results based on grouping together parent/carer responses. For example, an analysis provided to schools may show that 85% of parents/carers within a school reported feeling satisfied with their child’s school, but the school would never know how each individual parent/carer responded to this question.

Will results from the PIE Census be published?

Yes. Local authorities and schools are encouraged to use the aggregated results from their PIE Census as part of their own evidence in identifying where action is needed to improve the parental involvement and engagement of parents/carers.

Where can I get more information, or who can I contact to further discuss the Census?

For further information please communicate with Jill Morton, Project Manager, National Improvement Framework Analysis Team, Scottish Government on e-mail