At the S4 Parents’ Evening on Tuesday, 11th November, I issued a questionnaire. Parents of 86 pupils attended out of a possible 132 pupils which is 65%, the average attendance at our parents’ evenings. 48 questionnaires were returned.
Parents were asked to comment on the following areas:
- How satisfied are you with your child’s progress?
- What can the school do to support your child further?
- Any other comment?
Response to how satisfied are you with your child’s progress:
- 41 parents were very satisfied with their child’s progress; 5 were fairly satisfied and 2 were not satisfied. One of the comments related to a child himself needing to work a little harder; another commented that the Interim Report gave information that was less positive than teachers’ comments.
Response to what the school can do to support your child further:
- 27 parents felt that the school was doing all it could to support their child and were very complimentary about teachers, their approachability and their commitment to helping pupils. The comments from others were varied: revise exams and tests more thoroughly, making it clear where children went wrong; boost confidence in certain pupils; prepare them better for life beyond school; give more homework and study materials; help pupils to plan their study and advise parents what they can do to help; encourage them to attend supported study classes. 3 parents questioned the style of the Interim Report and its usefulness for pupils and parents. (See later comment.)
Response re other comments:
- There were few other comments: 1 parent suggested that the Interim Report was unnecessary; another suggested moving pupils from National 5 to National 4 sooner; one comment complimented teachers on the clarity of feedback which was different for the Interim Report.
Interim Report: There is no easy solution to changing the report as we are “locked into” South Lanarkshire Council’s reporting system. As a result of the questionnaire, the Senior Management Team discussed the format of the report to see whether we could make alterations that would make it more appropriate for its purpose. We shall discuss this with teachers and a group of parents to see whether we can create a better Interim Report. We shall pass all comments to the lead person at the authority and let you know of any progress.
Supported Study: 3 parents requested that we organise more study classes or rearrange study classes. This is an area that we cannot influence. Some years ago, teachers were paid to provide after school study classes then this was stopped as part of the financial savings. Teachers in our school continued to offer this service free of charge and all they receive is the gratitude of pupils and parents – and me! I cannot ask teachers to offer more and I cannot ask them to rearrange times as they work around their families’ needs too. If people complained about supported study I fear the goodwill would be withdrawn – and pupils would ultimately lose out.
Other issues: This letter will be shared with teachers and your comments will be noted and acted upon. At the next S4 assembly, all pupils will receive a study planner with tips and ideas about how to study. This is a useful guide for parents too so please ask to see your child’s copy. Further copies are available at the School Office, if one goes missing!
Other issues continued: The comment about moving pupils more quickly from National 5 to National 4 raises a complication. We want to encourage pupils to gain qualifications at the highest level possible. If they are not succeeding at that level, we move them to the lower level at that point. Pupils are not disadvantaged for National 4 and at least have been exposed to the quality of work required at National 5 which may help them in the future. However, we shall monitor this closely and will consult with pupils about their feelings.
Many thanks to you for contributing to this exercise. I found reading your views to be very helpful and their influence on our work is already obvious.
If you were unable to attend the Parents’ Evening or did not manage to complete the questionnaire, please let me know if you wish a copy and I’ll get it to you. Your views will be taken into account and the summary of results altered as appropriate.