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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 11:28 am 
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Sorry this might not be quite the right place to put this, but it does in some way relate to appeals. I was wanting and answer from someone who had the technical and legal info if possible please.

Do you know what your legal rights are to see your child's "school file" - and how you would go about this, and what you would expect to find on it.

Also do you know what your legal rights are to see your child's exercise books?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 11:44 am 
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Appeals Q&A, B20. http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... lification

Although it doesn't explicitly cover school books, I am sure that the School Governors would over-rule any Head who denied you the right to see them.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 12:04 pm 
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And do you have a feel for how an "average" school governor might feel about how often it was reasonable to see your child's exercise books .e.g once a year, once a term, once a month, once a week?

I would be wanting to see exercise books in order to see if I needed to help at home with any specific spelling difficulties or misunderstanding of specific maths concepts, and also to understand how they are covering other topics in other subjects so that we could have some relevant discussions at home.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 12:18 pm 
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mystery wrote:
And do you have a feel for how an "average" school governor might feel about how often it was reasonable to see your child's exercise books .e.g once a year, once a term, once a month, once a week?
when I was a governor I owuld have considered once term adequate for anything formal and ad hoc in between if there was a specific achievement or similar.
mystery wrote:

I would be wanting to see exercise books in order to see if I needed to help at home with any specific spelling difficulties or misunderstanding of specific maths concepts, and also to understand how they are covering other topics in other subjects so that we could have some relevant discussions at home.

If this did come to a gb I would be concerned that a parent felt that they needed to see books in order to do this. It would mean that the other forms of communication were not working and I would want to understand why they felt they did not know what was going on. I wold also be keen to ensure that we did not set in place a mechanism which took up a substantial amount of teacher time when there might be other more effective and less labour intensive ways of achieving the same end.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 12:51 pm 
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Thank you that is a very helpful response.

I am interested in why would you feel it was more time consuming for a parent to look at a child's exercise books to see if there was any recurrent weakness they could help with, than for a teacher to explain to a parent what their current weaknesses were e.g. your child spells "said" correctly in spelling tests but for some reason in their extended writing frequently mispells it as "sed". I just give this as an example (unlikely as it is).

Also, if parent then saw a few weeks later that child was now spelling it correctly at school in extended writing they would know that whatever they had done at home (together with presumably what was going at school) had rectified that particular spelling issue and they could move on to something else - again without having to bother the teacher to see if they had seen an improvement.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:01 pm 
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mystery wrote:
Thank you that is a very helpful response.

I am interested in why would you feel it was more time consuming for a parent to look at a child's exercise books to see if there was any recurrent weakness they could help with, than for a teacher to explain to a parent what their current weaknesses were e.g. your child spells "said" correctly in spelling tests but for some reason in their extended writing frequently mispells it as "sed". I just give this as an example (unlikely as it is).

I guess because a quick word can be just that, but getting all the exercise books out and then going through them is not. Also, I think if one parent had seen the exercise books suddenly you might have all 30/32 wanting to and it becomes a job itself.
mystery wrote:
Also, if parent then saw a few weeks later that child was now spelling it correctly at school in extended writing they would know that whatever they had done at home (together with presumably what was going at school) had rectified that particular spelling issue and they could move on to something else - again without having to bother the teacher to see if they had seen an improvement.

Very true. Although as a parent I always had more 'success' when I went out of my way to behave in a way that made the teachers feel I was on their side and working with them, rather than feel I was going behind their backs, or not really believing what they said. Either way I would see it as part of the teacher's job to communicate to me if their had been any improvements, following up from our first meeting etc, that they rather than the books should be the conduit of information. Of course if you feel you have done all this and that the teacher is lying, then I would be escalating things, based in the knowledge that I had done what I could and that I was confident that for whatever reason the teacher was not telling the truth.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:23 pm 
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Again very helpful thank you to see how a particular approach would make you feel. Maybe I am being very thick, but why would this make a teacher feel that the parent thought they were lying about something or other?

And why would getting the exercise books out take up much teacher time? I wasn't suggesting that the teacher should go through the books with a parent, more that the parent should be able to take some time (more often say than twice a year) to look through their child's books. Apart from anything, most children would (at a young age anyhow) be rather pleased and proud that their parents were interested enough to look through their school books and give them some specific praise. It might help break down some of those barriers children have between the home and school world which result in little more than grunts about school from the age of 3 to 18!!

Is this a feeling that most teachers would have about parents looking at exercise books do you think? What would be the better way to ask that would not result in this feeling?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:45 pm 
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mystery wrote:
Maybe I am being very thick, but why would this make a teacher feel that the parent thought they were lying about something or other?
. In the example given, if the teacher has provided the information, the implication of still asking to see the books is that the teacher is not being believed.
mystery wrote:
Why would getting the exercise books out take up much teacher time?
Times it by 30 and it takes a lot of time, why should the teacher not just communicate in the first place then it would not be necessary.
mystery wrote:
Apart from anything, most children would (at a young age anyhow) be rather pleased and proud that their parents were interested enough to look through their school books and give them some specific praise. It might help break down some of those barriers children have between the home and school world which result in little more than grunts about school from the age of 3 to 18!!

I completely agree, although I think looking at books is just one small way of doing this and not necessarily the most effective. I guess this comes back to how often and why.
mystery wrote:
Is this a feeling that most teachers would have about parents looking at exercise books do you think?
I have no idea, but I suspect they would want to understand the reasoning and if they thought there was a more effective solution to whatever the problem was then they would feel it appropriate to follow it.
mystery wrote:
What would be the better way to ask that would not result in this feeling?
I would explain what you feel the problem is and ask them what they think the solution is, if this does not work, escalate it. In short, ask what it is you really want to know, they may even suggest looking at the books! If you feel the problem is simply that you want to see the books regardless, then I think it is too easy to get into the kind of tit for tat that we are in :D :D , they are entitled to ask why, and to say no (much as that might seem unreasonable), if they can think of an easier and more effective way of solving the problem.
I suspect we will have to beg to differ, I think formally termly is enough and then informally ad hoc and that if it is part of a widening communication strategy and home/school link it is a good thing. Now I must go to work!

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