Council could do better on report cards

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This week, parents across Dumfries and Galloway are talking to Educaton Services’ director and heads of service, who want to hear how the region’s schools can do better in reporting to parents.

Area parent forums are a chance for parents from all schools to come together and discuss areas of interest with senior staff. This week, the focus is on report cards.

Parent feedback is that they want report cards to be more regular, clearly written, and easily understood by parents and pupils, avoiding jargon and technical terms, and indicating for pupils where they are doing well and where they can improve. Parents want to see an assessment of the development of their child overall and to have regular opportunities to discuss this with staff with progress being discussed openly and honestly.

Parents also point out where Education Services is getting it right, which they feel is down to the energy and enthusiasm of teachers and headteachers. Parents state that they like parent conferencing, when there is more regular time to talk to class teachers rather than rely on receiving reports at home. This is seen as being particularly important in secondary schools due to the recent changes in exam arrangements. Parents also indicate that there is mixed understanding of Curriculum for Excellence and there is a need for this to be made clearer for parents.

Next month, the views of parents will be further sought through a questoinnaire that will be on and issued for pupils to take home.

Councillor Jeff Leaver, chairman of the Education Services Committee, said, “It is vitally important that parents feel involved in their child’s education and feel welcome in their school. We are a listening Council and are keen to fully engage with parents. These parent forums enable this and provide us with valuable feedback so that we can further improve engagement between schools, parents and pupils.”