King’s Meadow Primary School axes parents nights

Is parents night a thing of the past? Picture: Getty
Is parents night a thing of the past? Picture: Getty
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SHOCKED mums and dads have hit out after a primary school announced it is to look at axeing the traditional parents’ evening.

Rather than one-to-one discussions with teachers, parents at King’s Meadow Primary in Haddington will be given 25-minute tours of pupils’ work by the youngsters themselves.

And although staff will be on hand to assist, they will not be able to discuss individuals as the school plans to have a number of families in each classroom during the event on April 1.

Education chiefs say the trial is about getting away from a “one-size-fits-all” approach and aims to put children at “the centre of the process”.

But worried families have called the idea “ridiculous”. They say individual interviews with teachers are crucial to gaining a proper overview of a pupil’s progress and have complained about lack of consultation.

One parent, who asked not to be named, said: “It came as a huge shock to discover parents’ evenings had been scrapped without any consultation or warning.

“The first we knew of it was when our son came home with a slip of paper informing us he would be showing us his work, and the teacher would not be available for a one-to-one meeting. And rather than allocate times convenient to working parents we were simply told when we should turn up.

“Aside from the high-handed manner in which this change has been implemented, far more important is the scrapping of such a key meeting for parents keen to find out how their children are doing.”

Although leaders of the school’s parent council declined to comment when contacted by the Evening News, the criticisms have been backed by senior political figures in East Lothian.

Former council leader Paul McLennan, SNP member for Dunbar and East Linton, said: “It’s really important that parents are there and able to speak to teachers on an individual basis – you get feedback on the things that need to be changed or worked on.

“There has to be a partnership with parents and if that’s not happening, I’d be concerned about that.”

East Lothian education bosses have stressed the child-led event is a trial and say they will take “full account” of parents’ views.

A spokeswoman said: “We are going to be trying out a different format for our next parents’ evening. In order to promote ownership, we want to involve our children in presenting their learning to parents.

“One-to-one meetings are available at any time throughout the school year for parents who have concerns about their child’s learning or life at school. I think we are lucky to have very supportive parents behind us, willing to try new experiences.”