Best Practice

Parents’ evenings: What should be on the agenda?

In the first of three articles examining parental engagement, Dorothy Lepkowska looks at parents’ evenings and asks if there is a mismatch between what teachers want to discuss and what parents want to know...

Glancing across the hall, Sarah Owens’ parents’ evening was about to take a turn for the worse. As she waited for the next family to take their seats, she spotted that it was one of her most challenging pupils approaching.

“The girl was difficult to teach and reacted badly to being challenged in lessons,” Ms Owens, a former modern languages teacher, now teacher trainer explained. “She arrived with her mother and younger brother and pushed him off his chair as I tried to conduct the conversation.

“She also swore and accused her mother of not caring. This was behaviour I would never tolerate in the classroom.”

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