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What your child’s school should be telling you

Whether it’s teaching in the classroom, engaging with families, or handling problems within a school environment, education is all about effective communication. This communication should also extend to the way a school reports back to the parents who have entrusted a child into their care.

Here’s a quick guide to what your school should be telling you to guarantee the best learning journey for your child and flag any potential problems early.


Twice each year schools are required to provide a full written report to parents/guardians outlining a student’s academic progress.

These reports should cover all subject areas and include information about how a student is progressing compared to their last report and in relation to the general expectations/standards of others within that age group.

Constructive comments about personal development and behaviour should also be incorporated.

Parent/teacher interviews

Each semester parents should have a formal opportunity to meet with teachers at a parent/teacher interview. Usually averaging 10-15 minutes each, parent/teacher interviews allow open, two-way discussion about a student’s progress, including their behaviour and development.

In primary school, parent/teacher interviews may involve meeting just the class teacher, but in high school may extend to all relevant subject teachers. These interviews also provide the opportunity to see a studen’s portfolio of work.

Some schools encourage students to be part of this meeting, while others keep it an adult-only affair.

Open door policy

In addition to formal opportunities to understand a student’s progress, schools should also have an open-door policy when it comes to discussing any issues relating to a student.

Although an appointment may need to made, these less formal meetings allow parents to raise any issues of concern or discuss relevant matters with school staff.

If a child’s behaviour is changing, their enthusiasm for school is dwindling or their results seem to be slipping, these meetings are a good way to seek a teacher’s insight into why this might be the case, and develop strategies to remedy the situation.


Skipping school is linked to declining grades, bullying, and further serious problems, therefore it’s critical to understand whether and how a school will inform you if your child is not in attendance.

Schools are legally obliged to tell parents if their child fails to attend. If a child is regularly skipping school it’s then equally important to understand why.

Policies and procedures

Information about parent/teacher interviews, reports and the general communication policy of a school will be contained with the institution’s handbook. This document will also set out expectations of students.

To ensure the best learning journey, parents should make use of all the available communication avenues that a school provides.

About Chalkwall

Chalkwall specialises in assisting students throughout their education via cutting edge tutoring that allows them to gain confidence in their abilities and meet their learning goals. You can learn more about our services here, or contact us for further advice.