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Parents misinterpret report - advice please

Discussion in 'Primary' started by JoPatten51, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. I tutor a delightful boy who is in Y7 in a middle school. His father has just "punished" him for getting a bad report and Mum is also in trouble with Dad for not making the boy work harder. The parents speak fairly good English but really depend on grades rather than the teacher's comment to inform them of his progress. They showed me the report and I thought it was excellent and accurate. The comments from the teacher were very positive except for saying he was sometimes distracted in maths lessons and didn't finish his works. The grades showed him as AVERAGE for Reading/writing and speaking listening. ABOVE AVERAGE for maths/ science/ ICT/ food tech. All other subjects, average. The parents seem to feel that he has failed if he doesn't get assessed as "exceptional". I've tried to tell Mum that it is a good report. But my question is should I phone his class teacher and let her know how the parents have reacted. I don't know the teacher and have had no contact with the school. I just think that the teacher probably feels she has written the boy a brilliant report and the parents have got a completely different impression. Parents evening is in June and she might be able to give the parents a better understanding. If you were the class teacher how would you feel? Thanks.
     
  2. Cervinia

    Cervinia Occasional commenter

    How does being distracted/not finishing work equate to a brilliant report? Parents are entitled to have high standards for their children. How do you know he's been "punished"?
     
  3. That was the only negative comment. The teacher said that he had made an excellent transision to Key Stage 3, that his behaviour was "impeccable", that he had an excellent attitude to his work. She mention several subject areas in which she was particularly pleased. She also said he contributed well in class, which was a big improvement as all through KS2 he was too lacking in confidence to speak in class. The comment about SOMETIMES being distracted in Maths was almost added as if she felt she had to mention an area for improvement. I know he was punished because the boy phoned me from WH Smiths to ask what homework books he should buy as his father had punished him for a bad report. When he came for his lesson his mother told me that she and the boy had been punished. I didn't ask what the punishment was but thankfully they haven't cancelled the boys birthday party.
     
  4. Perhaps I should add, he started school unable to speak English. He achieved level 5 in all his Year 6 sats. He has a reading score of 14 yrs 6 months on the Suffolk test he did in class this year. I do have concerns about his learning but these weren't mentioned in the report. What I am thinking is the teacher wrote a report about a boy who is a delight to teach, hard working, intelligent and well behaved and the parents read it as a child who is failing. If you were the class teacher would you want them to understand the report better?
     
  5. Cervinia

    Cervinia Occasional commenter

    Objectively speaking, is the report accurate? If so, then I think your options are limited. It's the parents' privilage to interpret the report however they choose, and act accordingly.
    • Unless you believe this to be a CPS issue, you have to accept that some parents are stricter than others.
    Despite this, I have previously moderated comments about a child's effort and attitude in school. She had very strict (/nasty) parents and my conscience wouldn't allow me to provide them with any reason to knock a child with an already fragile self-confidence. The child knew precisely what I had done. How did she repay me for this when I ended up teaching her the next school year?... By behaving impeccably.
     
  6. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    It really isn't up to you to talk to the classteacher. Parents often have high standards for the children and so will focus more on the negative than the positive, to ensure their child addresses the problems. Do you think teachers should never mention the areas a child needs to work on in case the parents are unhappy? I imagine the teacher wrote the comment knowing the parents would aid her in her efforts to get the child to focus.

    If it was my child I'd be very concerned as to why he got a level 5 last summer in English and yet is only performing at an 'average' level now, despite having a tutor. And yes I'd have bought him some books to work on and catch up to what he can patently achieve should he try.

    I'm sorry but a report for a child who used to be a level 5 and is now 'average' in English(less than a year later) and is getting distracted (ie not working hard) in maths does not equate to an excellent report at all and good on his parents for demanding more from him.

    Of course it isn't pleasant to be in a house when parents are cross with their child, but that is no reason to suggest the teacher should gloss over problems.
     

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