Last Friday was an exciting day in the Fisher household, our two children were getting their reports. They have had a good year, they’re settled and happy (a move last June had forced a change of school) Hannah had passed her Grammar School Entrance Exam and Alex seemed to have been breezing through year 1.
It was with great sadness that we read reports devoid of any real information. We received a National Curriculum word bank, telling us in teacher speak ….. nothing. In some ways we are lucky, we are both teachers so could understand? the word banks, understand that it really told us little.
The real sadness? We have found the parents evenings a totally different experience, perceptive, insightful, honest and a real sense that they knew and understood our children, their academic strengths and weaknesses, and their characters.
The report was just devoid of all of the above, except for one little comment box.
If Michael Gove has one legacy (if… a very big word with Michael Gove) is that school reports need to reflect the information that parents want to know.
Have they made progress?
How does this fit in with the general progress of their class?
How have they worked this year?
How do they fit in with the world around them?
Is there anything that might hold them back?
Our children are precious to us, surely a report that reflected they were human rather than a series of can do tick box comments isn’t too much to ask for.
I can’t blame their teachers, but blame lies with the system, a system I was pleased to leave, but still use my talents in teaching, and to give our parents good honest feedback of their precious children.