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parent consultation

(12 Posts)
Katenka Wed 09-Mar-16 10:16:18

Hi just wanted some opinions.

Dds school have parent consultations at the end of every half term. We get a text and email if a teacher wants to see you, or you can just email and make an appointment.

They only contact you if there is a problem. Dd, fortunately, does well in school and behaves herself. So they haven't contacted us yet.

But we have no contact with her teachers. We are worried that we won't know there is a small issue until it becomes a big one. Or that she may need a bit of support in one area, but we have no idea.

We aren't obliged to go in at all.

The problem is, how do I decide which teachers we should start with?

We do get a report at half term to with effort grades and predicted grades, which always shows she is doing really well.

Would you want to see her teachers? Is it normal to go a whole year without speaking to her teachers?

Or is it standard at secondary to wait until there is a problem before seeing a teacher?


HPFA Wed 09-Mar-16 18:25:24

The procedure at Year 7 DD's school is that you get a "snapshot" report each term (the first had only effort grades, the second had effort grades and a level for each subject). In the first term we got an invite to meet her tutor (five minute appointment) but opted for an E-Mail report instead as her school is half an hour's drive away! Felt very guilty as self-confessed pushy mum. Full parent's evening is a week away (have to tackle booking system in half-an-hour) - we won't attempt to see every teacher but hopefully will get an appointment to the ones we really need to see.

I don't know if this is typical or not but I must admit I've never heard of a school not having a parents evening at all! Even though your DD is doing well it's nice for her to hear that from her teachers. And there must always be some helpful suggestion to be made even if it's only reading more (which is what I think we're going to get). Are you certain there isn't one on the school calendar?

DP works on the site team at a secondary school and always moans about parents evening as he has to stay late but I don't think even he would think not having one was a good idea!

Katenka Wed 09-Mar-16 18:32:10

Hi thanks for the reply.

When we went for the open evening after they all got their places, we met her form tutor who told is this was how it worked. He was under the impression that each child would have a problem where we would be called in at least once a year.

He said we should just wait for that. But so far dd has been fine. I don't want to leave it until the end of the summer term and be too late to do anything or meet the teachers as she is moving to year 8.

I have emailed him and had no response. I have even put notes in her planner and had no response.

Noodledoodledoo Wed 09-Mar-16 19:10:10

If you can request appointments it might be worth talking to your daughter if she has any concerns in any subjects. Parents evening for me I often find some of my students are happy to tell me of concerns I have not spotted, they haven't felt able to mention to me, students don't think they are big enough to worry about until I ask them on a one to one basis with parents there.

If she says all is fine, then focus on core subjects initially English, Maths, Science or subjects she is interested in.

Does seem a weird system but then after my 4 hour marathon parents evening last night where I spoke to 50+ parents I can see its benefits!

slicedfinger Wed 09-Mar-16 19:15:37

I find the greatest advantage of parent consultations is actually getting a face to put to the name. Some of DDs consultations for teachers with a key subject, and lots of classes can be a short as 2.5 minutes.

They are really useful to get a handle on the personality of the teacher too though, to help square with what the DC says, and what I see as the reality!

I have three DC in secondary. I think that means I've been to 17 parent consultations though, and in all of those, I think only one has raised an issue of any importance that needed following up outside the meeting.

Katenka Wed 09-Mar-16 19:34:35

Thank you.

Dd doesn't have any worries really, but I would like to meet the the teachers.

Will start with the core subjects and email the school tonight.

I can see why they do it. 2600 pupils at the school. All parents evenings must be a nightmare. shock

But it feels a bit too distant. I know some parents have been called in each half term, so I should count my lucky stars I haven't been yet.

BackforGood Wed 09-Mar-16 19:36:56

I was going to say the same as slicedfinger - It matters to me that I can 'picture' some of my dcs' teachers. I wouldn't be happy with no contact from the school. I totally understand only having 1 parents evening, but I even think that is a long time to go - particularly in Yr7 when they wouldn't know if there'd been a change in your dc as they didn't know them before.

I've just been to my Yr9 dd's PE last week, and probably we wouldn't have been the "summonsed" parents, but you know, if was really good for her to sit there next to me and hear the teachers telling me how pleased they are with her this year. She struggles with her self confidence and continually compares herself to her older sister, so she needs that time just as much as some dc who might be struggling academically do. IMO.

Noodledoodledoo Wed 09-Mar-16 19:43:39

Wow big school! The flip side is we are told to prioritise appointments for those I have concerns about but I like to intersperse those appointments with the ones where I can tell parents how much I enjoy teaching their child and speak to the child a little more so they can raise any possible concerns.

Icouldbeknitting Wed 09-Mar-16 19:53:21

Once a term the child, form teacher and parents get together, child does a presentation on their progress based on the report that they've brought home and form teacher/parent raise any issues. DS is in Y11 and this is the first year they've done a traditional parent's evening and I finally got to meet his subject teachers. It was bedlam, part of me wishes that they'd done it earlier and part of me was very glad that I'd only experienced it once rather than five times.

AChickenCalledKorma Wed 09-Mar-16 22:14:58

I wouldn't say that arrangement was "normal" and I would be uncomfortable as well. If your child is "fine", you may never see a teacher and there is no dialogue whatsoever.

We have one parents' evening per year - a bit like speed dating - 5 mins per teacher but they are always well prepared and have something specific to say about what she's doing well and what she should aim for next.

We also have a one-to-one appointment with her form tutor twice a year, which parents are encouraged to attend, to set targets and monitor how things are going more generally.

And if I email a teacher with a specific issue, I invariably get a response within 4 hours. It's a smaller school, but presumably a bigger school has a bigger staff, so i wouldn't see that as a reason to have such a hands off approach.

AChickenCalledKorma Wed 09-Mar-16 22:15:49

Oops - "48 hours", not 4 hours. 4 hours really would be beyond the call of duty!!

Katenka Thu 10-Mar-16 06:30:18

Thanks everyone.

Yes I think it would do dd good to hear she is doing well.

I understand that students with problems may be prioritised.

My worry is as achicken says, I could end up going years before I see anyone.

I am lucky in the fact that I never had to go into primary because dd was struggling or causing a problem. I met her teachers at parent consultation and because she was bullied.

Thankfully the bullying has stopped so far. I just can't imagine not speaking to her teachers all year.

I couldn't send the email last night as dd doesn't know her tutors first name, which Is part of his email address and it's not in the handbook, but I will ring and get it today.

Thanks for the advice and stories about your kids school. Dd moving to secondary has been as confusing for me as it has for her I think grin

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