My worst parent - Ticked off by the tick box

20th February 2009 at 00:00

Sometimes the worst parents are the ones that are teachers themselves, and most of my colleagues knew about Mr and Mrs X, who both worked for a local independent school. For some reason, they decided to send their two sons to our "grotty comprehensive" - something they claimed was their way of giving something back to the community - but which I think said more about the misgivings they had about their own school.

I had been warned they might prove challenging at parents' evening, but was unprepared for the full-scale box-ticking exercise they intended to put me through on their younger son's performance. I'd had easier Ofsted observations.

"Exactly how do you benchmark J's attainment averages against national numeracy targets?" they pressed me.

"Well he's done very well in his tests," I explained. "But how well is well?" they persisted.

At this point my new head of department walked over to the desk, keen to impress a couple of fellow teachers. I happily passed Mr and Mrs X over to him, explaining that my superior would be happy to provide further details. It was his first term at our school, so he could hardly refuse.

When I caught my boss's eye over the cheese nibbles and wine later that evening I gave him a wry smile, knowing that next morning I'd be for it.

The writer is a primary teacher from Lincolnshire. Send your worst parent stories to

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now