From having parents come in to speak about their jobs to sending postcards home, education experts share advice on parental engagement
Schools take a variety of creative approaches to involve parents in their child’s learning, from parent-student cooking classes to sending tweets about lesson activities.
We recently ran a live chat for teachers, heads, academics and parents to share their ideas on how to break down barriers, reach those who were reluctant to engage and ensure parents and carers feel that their voices are heard. Here’s a roundup of their suggestions:
I remember vividly one harrowing night at the end of the school summer term 23 years ago. My nine-year-old daughter was inconsolable. All her friends were leaving her very good state school to be placed by their parents in various private schools in the Oxford area. She cried at her loss. My wife cried. Her younger sister cried, because her sister and mother were crying. The house was drenched in tears. We were living the continuing divisive disaster that is the British education system, the most socially engineered to advantage privilege in the world.
At the playground swings a few days earlier, I had overheard a group of mothers explaining to one another why they were going private. The state schools weren’t challenging enough for exceptional children like their own and the comprehensive was only just recovering from a reorganisation. They just weren’t prepared to take the risk. Best of all, their daughters could continue their friendships and mix with other children like them.Continue reading...
Who doesn’t envy a school student with the slothful days of summer ahead? Carefree, work-free and with only an enviable social calendar to worry about – the last responsibility-free gasp of childhood. But if that’s the picture that school holidays conjure up in older minds, then increasing numbers of stressed-out teenagers would like to put the record straight.
As schools break up this week in Scotland and with less than a month to go before pupils in England and Wales are set free, more 16- and 17-year-olds than ever before are concentrating on curating their curricula vitae rather than chilling out.Continue reading...
More than two-thirds of teachers have considered the performance of their school in league tables when choosing which subjects to offer pupils, an unpublished report from the exam regulator Ofqual reveals.
Four out of five have focused their efforts on borderline “C” students because the numbers of pupils gaining grades A-C are the key to success in such tables. And nearly two-thirds have sought out “easier” exam boards to achieve success, the report finds.Continue reading...
He argues that he needs to relax to prepare for his exams – I disagree
Every week a Guardian Money reader submits a question, and it’s up to you to help him or her out – a selection of the best answers will appear in next Saturday’s paper.
This week’s question:Continue reading...
Teachers who break the rules will have nowhere to hide when exam-only syllabi come in, leaving us easy prey for our critics
On the first day of the school year the staffroom buzzes with nervous whispers. Everyone is eager to hear the big news about results. Is an Ofsted inspection imminent or are we safe in our jobs for another year? Thoughts whir as the senior management team present their annual analysis of assessment data.
But there is an enormous elephant in the room; most of the members of the audience know the data is false. This is because we know how much we help children cheat in the modular tests brought in to replace coursework.
DfE says committee that found no evidence of sustained plot, following claims about Birmingham schools, risked ‘undermining efforts to tackle extremism’
The Department for Education has accused MPs of “undermining” efforts to tackle Islamist extremism in the wake of the Trojan horse allegations.
In a departure from parliamentary norms, the DfE bluntly rebutted the conclusions of the Commons education select committee, which published a highly critical investigation into its handling of reports of Islamist influence within Birmingham schools earlier this year.Continue reading...
Geoffrey Langlands, backed by some senior officials, has upset parents and staff of the college he ran until two years ago by attempting to regain control
For decades the school perched on a barren hill overlooking the lush fields of the Chitral valley has borne the name of Geoffrey Langlands, the revered former British army officer who dedicated his twilight years to running a school in one of Pakistan’s most remote communities.
But 25 years after the legendary Englishman took over as principal in this far-flung corner of the Hindu Kush, many local people want nothing more to do with the 97-year-old.Continue reading...
He beat Peter Mandelson to be elected chancellor of Manchester University, but this doesn’t mean it is ‘time for a party’ – Lemn Sissay is determined to use his new role to help more of his fellow care-leavers into education
In October the University of Manchester is going to have to clone Lemn Sissay, or at least, he suggests, “make a hologram of me”. That’s the month the 48-year-old poet is due to collect an honorary PhD, which, as the university’s newly-elected chancellor, he is also responsible for presenting.
“It’s mad,” agrees Sissay – who left school at 15, and this week beat Peter Mandelson and the Halle Orchestra’s Mark Elder to secure the ceremonial position. “Maybe I will shake hands with myself and say, ‘Well done, lad.’”Continue reading...
She has filled-out arenas, prompted legions of fans wherever she has been, stormed the capital to speak with lawmakers, left a top talk-show host speechless – twice – has a 2013 best-selling autobiography, which is still lingering in the world book charts, and will appear in a docu-film about her life later this year.