'Pupils do better when parents remain involved'
Published 22/03/2010 | 05:00
"Parents can approach the school at any time to discuss problems or issues, but as few make those appointments, it's more usual for teachers to hear about marital or other difficulties affecting the child at the parent-teacher meeting.
"In our school 95pc of parents make it to these meetings, while the rest are seen some other time. We don't rest until we've seen them all."
"The parent-teacher meeting is an important time for parents to meet teachers in a one-to-one setting to discuss their child's progress, and for teachers to learn more about their students. They play an important part in the school/parent partnership to deliver a quality education for children.
"They can form part of an ongoing relationship between school and home. Parents should be able to meet teachers at any time during the year, by appointment, to discuss a student's progress."
n Larry Flemming, past president, Irish Primary Principals Network
"Academic performance is one of the prime topics of conversation at parent-teacher meetings.
"How the child relates to class-mates, whether he's pushy, how he reacts when asked to do something, and whether he uses his initiative are other matters discussed.
"Issues such as bullying or unhappiness are usually discussed as they arise, rather than at the annual meeting."
- Aine Lynch, chief executive, National Parents Council Primary
"Parent-teacher meetings provide a forum where both sides can meet and form a relationship. Research shows that pupils do better when parents remain involved in their education.
"Attending these meetings is one way for them to become involved. While they are undoubtedly too short, a short meeting is better than none at all."
"Meeting 90 sets of parents in two-and-a half hours can be a bit of a blur for a teacher, but it's a way for both sides to meet.
"Many of the meetings can be quite mundane but if important nuggets of information filter through for even a couple of pupils, then it's worthwhile."