Union response is sad and unhelpful;Letter

5th June 1998 at 01:00
In "Breaking through the glass doorway", I argued that there was a need for a new partnership between parents and teachers to meet the particular learning needs of individual children and to raise educational standards overall. I was pleased to see this view reinforced by the article (TES, May 22) covering the research by the Research and Information on State Education Trust into school reports.

This research indicated that parents would like to see a much more informative and proactive reporting process, a process that would enable them to become more involved in their child's education.

The response to the report and its proposals from Nigel de Gruchy, general secretary of the National Asssociation of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, sadly demonstrates the realities of the "glass doorway" that shuts many parents out of the classroom. How depressing to be informed that "What parents can't have (and many don't want) is any increase in reporting."

What the NASUWT needs to understand is that regular reporting to parents on their child's needs and aspirations is not some additional bureaucratic imposition by the Government. It is, or should be, a critical link in the learning process.

More reassuring are the comments from the teachers quoted below the article. They acknowledge the inadequacies of the present systems of reporting and suggest a number of common-sense ways of improving the methods used. It is time that everyone involved in education understands how important it is to inform and engage parents. The NASUWT's position on more effective reporting is unhelpful.

Fran Stevens, Chair of governors, Harborne junior and infant school Birmingham

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