Your views

12th September 2014 at 01:00

Families deserve better than this

It would seem the best advice that TESS has to offer new teachers about building relationships with parents ("Meet the parents", New Teachers supplement, 5 September) is to use the principles of speed dating. How thoroughly depressing and, frankly, tedious.

Let's just ignore the accompanying illustration of The Munsters - hilarious as it is - and focus on what this article is telling our newly qualified teachers about parents: that those who do involve themselves in the life of the school are for the most part nosy and have a "religious zeal rivalling the Puritans", and that those who do not are comparable with the Higgs boson in the "being almost-completely-elusive stakes".

So much for parents as partners, parents as the primary teachers of their children, parents as more important even than teachers in influencing outcomes for young people. So much also for the role of teachers and school communities in establishing and nurturing positive relationships with parents, which - by the way - should have the aim of enhancing parental engagement with learning, not just sorting out the library or raising money for new smartboards.

I understand that some of the New Teachers supplement is tongue-in-cheek and we have not had a complete sense-of-humour failure, but please let's get real about parents and their role in supporting learning, both in and out of school.

Eileen Prior
Executive director, Scottish Parent Teacher Council

Short and tweet

Heard some people saying the #indyref is dividing Scots. On the contrary, I've never known us to engage with each other so much.


Appeals for calm in #indyref welcome, of course, but let's not get carried away. Much more divisiveness every week over football. #scotnight


Just phoned an old pal in the Borders. You busy? "Aye, sorry, just on the way out to a debate." Scotland is a whirligig of democracy! #indyref


Whatever the outcome in the #indyref I am thrilled by the reawakening of popular democracy which has marked recent months. Let's hope it lasts.


The referendum hasn't turned people against one another, it has brought our politics out into the open. We're doing politics now. #indyref


Just registered to vote in the referendum. Feeling the nerves. Fighting back the tears. The place was mobbed. Let's do this.


If there's a high turnout, it sends a message that people engage when they feel they can make a difference.


After intensive googling, there is really no pub in London showing the referendum [coverage]. Outrageous.


Letters for publication in TESS should arrive by 10am Monday. Send your letters, ideally of no more than 250 words in length, including contact address and phone number, by email to or by post to TES Scotland, Thistle House, 21-23 Thistle Street, Edinburgh EH2 1DF. Letters may be edited

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