Can we do better?

According to research carried out by BECTA ..

‘Invisible’ parents: Of the parents who admitted they rarely made contact with their child’s teacher, nearly a quarter (22%) said they did not see the benefit for their child. The majority (67%) of school staff said that these parents simply do not realise how important their support is in their child’s development. And 60% said that these parents often feel their job stops at the school gates.

  • Confidence issues:42% of teachers said the reason so-called ‘invisible’ parents have so little contact with the school is that they lack the confidence to discuss their child with teachers – 43% of school staff admit parents might find them ’difficult to approach sometimes.’ One in five (19%) parents are worried about bothering teachers and more than a fifth (22%) say they don’t want to add to the teacher’s workload, resulting in many taking a back seat in their child’s education.

  • Lack of information: More than one in ten (11%) of the parents who do initiate communication said they felt dismissed by teachers as an ‘overly demanding’ parent and a further 11% commented they often feel they are imposing on the teacher’s time. More than a third (36%) of school staff encounter parents who want ‘constant reassurance’ and others (19%) who try to ‘influence everything that goes on in the classroom.’

  • Lack of effective communication channels:89% of parents say technology could help them become better informed about their child’s education so that they can then have more focused face-to-face discussions with teachers. However, despite all schools having electronic communication tools, 46% of parents say their schools don’t communicate with them in this way.
  • So in the red corner we have some parents who can’t get enough information and conversation about their children’s learning, with teachers who resent having parents crossing some imaginary line of learning and teaching competence. In the blue corner we have other parents who the schools want to see more of and teachers who think that, actually, coming in to see a teacher must be too threatening for at least a quarter of parents.

    Ewans Blog

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