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Have you noticed?;Briefing;Governors

The parents at my school are splendidly supportive. They raise funds, attend report evenings and even come in respectable numbers to the governors' annual meeting. Our survey of parental opinion has helped with this - we can assure them that we are going to talk about the things they feel really strongly about like lunchtime arrangements and school dress.

But we do struggle with curriculum workshops. Even if we call them information evenings. I am convinced that children do best if they are supported by parents who understand what and how their offspring are being taught. We got about 10 parents to a mathematics evening last term, but hit an all-time low of four attending a presentation on the Literacy Hour. Apparently events in Albert Square were reaching a particularly thrilling climax that night, but even so, it is always disappointing when staff and governors outnumber parents by such a margin.

We are not alone. A recent workshop on information and communication at our local secondary school attracted 15 parents - jolly good, the teacher thought, but actually less than 1 per cent of the eligible parent population.

It's always the wrong ones who come, too: the computer experts or off-duty English professors. Where are we going wrong?

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