Rethinking education: what families want from schools

Using creative problem solving to grow schools

Coriolis Innovation works with schools to help them grow. We conduct research, run workshops, and help implement changes which lead to increased enrolments.

Our goal is to help schools become:

  • Environments where staff, students, families and communities flourish;
  • Recommended by families and the community;
  • Forward thinking in a changing world; and
  • Secure in its ability to achieve the right level of student enrolments.

As part of our work, we conducted a survey of families to understand more about what they want from a school.

We are surveying Australian families with primary and secondary school aged children about their views of the schools that their children attend.

Currently, 75% of the families are from fee paying private schools across Australia, the remaining 25% are from state schools.

There are 40 questions on the survey.

We ask respondents how likely they are to recommend their school to other families and how they rate their school on fourteen different dimensions. The ratings cover a range of different areas. Quality ratings include teaching and learning, student care and reputation. Management ratings include values, leadership and communication. Coverage ratings include the range of subjects, sporting programs and extracurricular cultural activities on offer. Finally, infrastructure ratings assess classroom facilities, equipment, grounds and the convenience of the school’s location.

At the conclusion of the survey, respondents are asked if they would like us to send findings to their school.


For families attending private school, by far the most important driver of their likelihood to recommend their school was how they perceived the care the school offered their children.

For state school families, teaching and learning was about twice as important as care.

The findings suggest that even though all families want many of the same things from their school, there are marked differences in how private and state school families evaluate a school.

For more information on the Education Survey 2017, please contact:

Sarah Daly

[email protected]

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