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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:31 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 1:30 pm
Posts: 279
Location: Hertfordshire
My DS is at a large partially selective school and they will holding their Y7 consultation evening soon. So DS is trying to make appointment for me to see the teachers from his core subjects (English, Maths, Science, Geography,History and MFL). I've told him not to bother with the remaining subjects.

He came home from school yesterday saying he couldn't get an appointments with teacher x as they doing appointments via a lottery system due to time limitations.

I was very disappointed and therefore sent an email to the Head of Year asking if they offering an additional evening. Of course the response had been No, Teachers operate their own appointment system either first come first served, lottery or only offering appointment to pupils they're concerned about.

The alternative offered if you can't get an appointment is written feedback, which I find toally inadequate as this is a one dimensional process. I would have thought that one of the main purpose of the Y7 consultation evening is in build a three way relationship between teacher,parent and child, not leave parents feeling negative forwards the school.

I've email Head of Year to say that the written feedback is inadequate and I'll phone to make a telephone appointment to speak to the relevant subject teachers if DS is unable to make an appointment for me to see them.

Does this happen at your DC's school ?


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:38 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 5922
Ally wrote:

Does this happen at your DC's school ?


No. It is outrageous. I have worked at a large school where each child had a 'mentor' who met with the staff and then with the parents, channelling feedback from all the teachers about a child. While it is not as good imo as direct contact with the teachers, it is one answer if the school is very large. You should keep moaning. Try a letter to the Chair of Governors and use the word 'complaint' in it.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:46 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:51 am
Posts: 8113
You really should be able to see a main tutor as a conduit for comments both ways.

I found DS's school quirky - some teachers we never saw as they only saw kids who were struggling by invitation - so no invites! Other saw everyone... no probs. Feel you should always be able to get feedback on any subject - DD's school have an e-mail type system (simplyclick) where you can send teachers and ask questions - very useful as they always respons and not just unidirectional


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:30 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 4:29 pm
Posts: 778
Location: East Kent
At ours, we got a `presentation` by the head of year explaining no academic stuff would be discussed, that it was just a `how is your daughter coping` consultation.
160 girls....three tutors, one head of year.....45 minutes........yeah right.

I know she`s settled OK...her marks are good, she`s happy......wasted evening I felt.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:58 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:57 pm
Posts: 1446
Pretty outrageous really and very frustrating. At an age where kids tell you nothing at least knowing their academic and social development from the school gives an insight into how they are getting on. And quite frankly, as a parent, it is your right to know! :x


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:22 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2009 7:28 pm
Posts: 950
Location: Bucks
I certainly wouldn't be happy with that and would alway's insist aon seeing them if I felt we needed to!

We recently had a parent's evening, well if you could call a 4 mins chat with his tutor that :lol: There is however, subject parent's evening later on in the term. We do have a list of all teachers email addresses though and I have already contact one via this method, asked if she had any concerns, etc etc and a great response was given, also with some handy tips to help him along with learning this new language :)

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:25 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 4:29 pm
Posts: 778
Location: East Kent
If I`d have been concerned I`d have stamped my feet and insisted on seeing someone :shock:
We do have a `proper` parents evening after Christmas. :)


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:27 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
Posts: 3813
Location: Chelmsford and pleased
I don't think this is satisfactory. In a large school there are more staff. It is not as though a particular subject teacher will teach the whole of year 7. If they do then multiple evenings should be arranged as the staff member would not be teaching other year groups.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:30 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:59 pm
Posts: 1268
DD’s school operates a similar system to the one Amber describes, with comments from subject teachers fed back through termly meetings with assigned mentor. It mostly works well, though we have had the odd issue where we’ve queried something and the mentor hasn’t been able to answer the query as it’s subject-specific.

I don’t think ‘time limitations’ is a good excuse, to be honest. Secondary schools must surely realise that some of us want to know our DCs are settling well at new schools, particularly if they didn’t have any friends going to the same school.

And as WFG points out, it’s at the time when it’s getting harder to get direct feedback from the DCs too.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:25 pm
Posts: 2556
we don't get parents' evening til March!! Am assuming they'd get in touch if there were problems but, yes, frustrating, as WFG says, when you're not told much by the children, and when the whole system is new, and, often a long way away, just to have to hold out.

However, when I have had to get in touch with the school (which I don't do often) I have found that although the ethos seems rather arms' length the reality is very different with caring, interested staff who will do all they can to provide feedback / sort out problems. It sounds like your head of year is not being wildly accommodating but do persist. They might have thought they were answering your question (is there another evening? no) without realising that you were really saying that you definitely wanted to see that teacher.

WRT mentors - friends at our comprehensive have this system and find it very unsatisfactory. Too broad brush and one way. No chance to probe. Plus it's important to see the teacher to see if your child has a point when s/he says XYZ about them. Friends who are teachers say they like seeing parents and it tells / reinforces lots about the child!


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