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Parents meetings at boarding schools

(14 Posts)
JugglingChaotically Mon 17-Mar-14 21:29:45

What is your experience of when boarding schools have their parent teacher meetings?
Scheduling early evening on a week day makes it difficult for anyone who doesn't live nearby struggle and for a working parent worse.
Interested in others experiences.
Worried that school in person is simply catering to day parents.

pimmsgalore Mon 17-Mar-14 21:33:41

Our school allows boarding patents to schedule meetings in exeat or end of term pick ups. Boarders parents also get to email choices of time slots so they get first choice to allow for travel time if they attend on the actual patents evening

toastedteacake Mon 17-Mar-14 22:01:51

Our school organises parents meetings late morning on an exeat. Most teachers are available and gather in the theatre or main hall.

There is no fixed appointment system so you queue by the teacher you wish to see, discuss and then move on to the next on your list of priority. Be that the teacher who has given the most encouraging/ disparaging report or is closest to the refreshments.

They are arranged by department and seated at small tables with a couple of additional chairs for parents. It's an informal atmosphere but professional and straightforward.

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 17-Mar-14 22:03:17

At dds school it's the afternoon/ early evening of exert which is a problem for me as I teach on Friday afternoons (dd is a day student)

derektheladyhamster Mon 17-Mar-14 22:04:38

Ours are on the last evening of an exeat, usually 3 hours before they need to be back

MillyMollyMama Mon 17-Mar-14 22:38:45

Ours (in 2 schools) were on the Friday before an exeat and were at 4.00pm. People took time off from work if they needed to, but the school finished at 4 pm anyway so usually a parent would have picked up their child anyway so this timing was not seen as a burden on working parents. One school was 100% boarding and the other was 90% in 6th form but far less lower down the school. I was never aware of anyone seeing this arrangement as a problem; it is just what you have to do. Plenty of schools close after lunch on the exeat Friday!

bbboo Mon 17-Mar-14 22:46:05

2 full boarding schools - both very like toastedteacake described. Prep school goes back from exeat one hour early , teachers in hall, behind tables - go to talk to teachers in any order.
Senior school just like toasted - usually linked to exeat. pupils break up at 12, parents morning starts at 10 or , as children get older, linked to end of exeat. Usually this is 9pm but meeting is at 7.
But, as said at beginning,both full boarding schools - maybe 2 pupils out of 150 are day pupils.

happygardening Mon 17-Mar-14 23:14:42

At DS's prep (75% weekly/full boarders) always on the day the Exeat/holiday thus a weekday so very inconvenient DH never went once in 6 yrs. School finished 1 pm parent teacher meeting started about 1 15pm and described as above you just queued up to see the teachers you wanted to speak too, tea and biscuits were provided. Parents who couldn't make it could arrange a separate day, do it by email/phone.
At DS's all full boarding senior school it's up until this yr been on a Sunday about 6 ish, at the end of the exeat or holiday can't really remember, same procedure you queue up to see the teachers, this time proper refreshments are provided, canapés, wine etc. This yr it was on a Sunday at 15 30 on a normal weekend, this was slightly less convenient for us as we obviously had to make the time and make special journey just to go. No wine etc but very nice afternoon tea and cakes.
I suppose if your children board it will always be slightly inconvenient when ever it's held.

goinggetstough Tue 18-Mar-14 07:32:27

At prep school they were Saturday morning and you were sent a detailed timetable of your meetings. Senior school were also on a Saturday but tagged onto either the beginning or end of half term/exeat. We queued to speak to the relevant teachers.

If we were unable to attend then meetings were arranged with the teachers when we were next in school or they would phone us.
IMO parents meetings were one of the things we looked at and when they were scheduled. I think their scheduling gives an extra insight into the full/weekly/flexi boarding issue. e.g. if you have a high number of full boarders you don't schedule mid week.

I have also heard recently of a friend's DD taking tablet round to the meetings skyping with her parents and teachers.

I agree though that the scheduling of these meetings will always be inconvenient to some families.

oshgosh Tue 18-Mar-14 09:11:31

Parents evenings are early evening Friday on exeat weekends. There are appointment times but the system usually breaks down within 20 minutes and then it's a free for all!grin

JugglingChaotically Tue 18-Mar-14 22:28:23

Thanks all.
Goinggetstough - yes, we looked at this when choosing schools but it has changed. They were always tied to pick up or drop off for boarders.
But staff and day girls schedules increasingly seem to be more important.
Parents meeting on a closed weekend this time! Last straw. Feel that Mrs Grumpy from Xxxx letter to head may be called for!
Historically was on Saturday.
Now on Fridays with an early start and linked to nothing.
Holding it on a closed weekend was beyond belief.
Previous worst was prior to drop off or after pick up with no accommodation for the children be it food or whatever!! .
Exeat pick drop off sounds good as they get older - generally a Sunday or PH.
But even tied in to any other drop off/pick up would be good.

UNDERTHEACERTREE Wed 19-Mar-14 20:09:17

My childrens' schools have willingly offered the following:

1) Skype parents' meetings. (from 2011)
2) Facetime parents' meetings. (from 2012)
3) Phone call parents' meetings. (from olden days 2004)

The above meetings were either Saturday morning or weekday afternoon. Otherwise just crazy for multiple parents or working parents to be racing around the country, or indeed globally, for in-person meetings.

JugglingChaotically Thu 20-Mar-14 06:09:37

Thanks for that. Will suggest those alternatives as it would make life so much easier.

happygardening Thu 20-Mar-14 09:42:49

I can see the sense and logic in Skype/FaceTime (whatever that is) but although I slightly groan at the thought of these meetings primarily because of the driving I do like the actual physical face to face contact. Perhaps I'm just a Luddite. We also usually get a couple of brief talks from the head master director of studies etc and I like the fact that you can spontaneously choose to see a teacher/house master if something unexpectedly crops up or even say hello to a teacher who you know but who doesn't teach my DS. We rarely meet other parents in my DS's house/yr so it's quite nice to just smile and wave at them as well. You also get a feel for the way the school runs if that makes sense.
I need to tell my self to get a grip it is only once a year therefore only one extra trip a yr.

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