DGMT: Phase 1 - Design of National Survey for Parent Power

DG Murray Trust (DGMT)
Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
Opportunity closing date: 
Monday, 17 August, 2020
Opportunity type: 
Call for proposals

1. Project Purpose

The DG Murray Trust would like to appoint a service provider to undertake the design of a nationally representative survey to gauge South African parents’ perceptions and experiences of five key contributors to quality of education in South African schools.


Quality gaps in South African public schooling are well documented; and the lack of parental involvement is cited as one of the contributed factors. However, “Parental involvement” is often boiled down to subject-based support by parents. This conception of parental involvement is narrow, and alienates a large portion of parents. This is particularly true for South African parents taking into account the unique historical context that has shaped the current realities. Socio-economic realities and psychologies of power and inferiority are not taken into account when speaking about parents and their children’s education. Additionally, employed parents from poor backgrounds are more likely to have inflexible work schedules and long commuting times, which makes it difficult for them to be involved parents in the current, narrow conception of “involvement”. The inability to contribute further compounds the feelings of inferiority and leads to leads to an unequal relationship between schools and parents.
The Parent Power is focused on building a constituency of activated parents to champion their children’s education. Parent Power seeks to empower parents so that they are able to analyse information about children’s school experience and learning journey; and exercise their power both individually and collectively to demand that all South African children receive a holistic quality education.
3. Purpose of the NATIONAL SURVEY

Parent Power has identified a three-pronged strategy for the initiative:

  • Develop national public advocacy regarding parent’s experiences and perceptions of quality
  • Build local activation and mobilisation through School Governing Bodies
  • Establish the identity of parents as powerful actors

The National Survey of Parents Perceptions and Experiences of Quality will be used to gauge the reality of parents in light of Parent Power’s 5 areas of quality, and shape ongoing national public advocacy. The five areas of quality central to the survey and national public advocacy campaign are -

  • Child’s experience at school: the premise that informed this area is that happiness and positivity can make a huge difference to a child’s learning and achievement at school. Questions will try to gain an understanding about how South African parents perceive their child’s feelings about their learning experience and their school.
  • Parent’s perception of their own power within school: as mentioned in the background, parents need to have power to demand high quality education. However, this is highly reliant on how parents are made to feel in their engagement with schools. The survey will explore parents’ perceptions of their ability to represent their children’s interests at school.
  • Trust: when parents send their children to school, they are entrusting that the school with their care and development. From the number of news reports that we see daily in South Africa of negligence and abuse of children it is important for the survey to explore. Questions will consider the extent to which parents trust that school leadership and governing bodies have the best interest of their children at heart.
  • Satisfaction: few parents in South Africa have the privilege of choice when it comes to the selection of a school for their children. Despite a lack of choice, parents should be satisfied with the level of education that their children receive. The survey will explore level of satisfaction that the South African parent population has in the school their children currently attends. 
  • School performance: school performance is the most common indicator of whether teaching and learning is taking place in a school. When a school is performing well, the deduction is made that teaching and learning in the school is of high quality. The survey will explore parents’ perceptions of school performance in South Africa.

This research will be used to shape the Parent Power national Advocacy Campaign. It should reflect how parents feel about the quality of education their child is receiving, signal that education is about the holistic development of children and position parents as key stakeholders in their children’s education.

4. Scope of the CONSULTANCY: Phase 1

There are 2 phases to this work – design of the survey (Phase 1) and implementation of the survey (Phase 2). We aim to appoint a service provider to design a national survey that is nationally representative of South Africa’s public school [1] parent population. We aim for Phase 1 of this work to take place between September 2020 to November 2020, and Phase 2 to take place in early 2021. 
Within Phase 1, we expect the service provider to develop:

  • A detailed literature review;
  • An in-depth methodology and representative sampling strategy;
  • A map of relevant sites based on sampling strategy;
  • A questionnaire informed by the literature review; and
  • A fully costed implementation plan for implementation.

Within Phase 2, we expect a service provider to implement the survey as per the approved implementation plan. However, Phase 2 will be managed under a new contract, and the DGMT reserves the right to select a different service provider for the Phase 2 work.


Interested bidders must submit a detailed proposal including the following,

  • A detailed approach to developing Phase 1 deliverables;
  • A timeline, workplan and fully costed budget
  • CVs of all team members who will work on this project
  • An outline of relevant, previous work that demonstrates ability to complete Phase 1 and Phase 2 of this project.
  • An overview of the organisation/company
  • 3 references

The bidder must provide a Gantt chart that outlines the objectives, deliverables and time-frames Phase 1 of the research. The desired service provider must demonstrate the capacity to design and implement the national survey as described. 
At a minimum, the successful service provider must demonstrate a track record in designing and implementing large-scale surveys; and strong analytical and report-writing capacity.


The appointed service provider will report to the Programme Lead: Parent Empowerment Initiative and Teacher Change Agent Network. Interested parties should submit their proposals to work@dgmt.co.za with the subject heading Parents Survey Proposal. All proposals must be submitted by 17 August  2020.

[1] Quintile 1 – 5 schools.

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