Handy Parents’ Evening Tips


As parents’ evenings start to loom on the horizon we thought it appropriate to put together some tips to make the most out of this event. Remember, as ex teachers and current parents we have been on both sides of the desk!


Talk to your child beforehand.


What subjects are they happy about, pleased with their progress and enjoy? Are there subjects that they feel they are struggling with or have particular concerns with? It helps the teacher(s) with insights about your child and they may have a different perspective.


Be prepared.


Know what grades your child achieved previously. We had a wonderful evening once, great work, good progress, high achievement … then we found the working at grade was lower than before! It happens, sometimes there may be a very good reason. As we were aware, the teacher was able to explain that the grade was based around a topic that our daughter did find difficult.

Arrive in time to look at work.


Our children have taken great pleasure in knowing that we did look at their work, proud that their efforts hadn’t gone unnoticed. It also helps with the inevitable time delay, appointments are short and parents and teachers do want to talk.


Aim to be positive.


At times we do have issues we are concerned about but try not to start on the offensive. Explain your concerns and ask for solutions and support. Essentially parents and teachers want the same thing, happy children making good progress. If you aren’t happy arrange to speak to the Headteacher. We had an excellent Head in the school our children went to, he always told us that we were the first to make him aware when we had a problem, but the first to praise his staff when things were going well.


Have some questions ready.

If you’re like me, I tend to nod, smile, make encouraging sounds and only when I’m outside in the car park that I remember the questions I wanted to ask. It is a two way process, as a teacher I valued the parents who asked questions, I knew they were supportive of their child’s education.

Some questions to ask.

Are they happy at school, are they getting along with other children?

What subject is their strongest, how can they make further progress?

What are their weaknesses, how is the school supporting your child?

How can we help at home?

Are they at the expected level of attainment for their age group?

Are they making the progress that’s expected of them in relation to their age and their level? (A child working at a higher level than expected should be making quicker progress, a child working at a lower level will naturally make slower progress)

Do you have any concerns about learning difficulties? What extra support can be provided?

If your child is working to exams are they on track to get the grade they need? Are they up to date in coursework assignments?


Teachers often use jargon, not to confuse you but it’s the language of the staff room. If they say something you’re not sure of, ask them to explain. Parents’ evenings should allow you to go home with a good understanding of how your child is doing.


If you have any questions relating to parents’ evening or you want to discuss your child’s progress, or support with their work then Kip McGrath Ashford can help. Call us on 01233 626333 to arrange a FREE assessment and consultation. We understand your child’s needs, the education system and parents’ concerns.


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