What school reports REALLY mean

Struggling to interpret your child’s school report? According to Mumsnetters, teachers use a cunning code to hint at the truth without being too crushing. Here's a translation of common words and phrases. 

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"Has a good understanding of the rules" = is an incorrigible tell-tale

"Very articulate" =  never shuts up

"Has a vivid imagination" = relentless fibber

"Independent" =  will not do as they're blimmin’ well told

"Dynamic" = a noisy little bugger

"Spirited" =  has brought several teachers to the point of nervous collapse

"Quiet and focused, has learned well this year" = no distinguishing features

"Likes to question and challenge" = terrible know-it-all

"Strong leadership skills" = atrociously bossy

"Always keen to share her news from home" = has told the teacher your hobby is drinking

"A rather solitary child" = please deal with the nit issue sharpish

Back in the day, of course, teachers didn’t mince their words:

"My husband's report said that he could work well 'when cornered like a rat'." 

"We expect great things of her, and we have been expecting them for a very long time."

"A strange child, rather hostile when questioned."

"Doing better, but still has a tendency to fall off her chair." 

"She is mal-coordinated."

And last, but by no means least, the admirably frank...

"Who is she?" 

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Last updated: 5 months ago