Research & Literature

​What Does the Research and Literature Say About Best Practice and What Parents Want from Reporting?

  • Parents see themselves as having the overall responsibility to educate their children. They expect schools and teachers to understand and support them in their role as primary educators and to treat them as partners in the education process.
  • They expect reliable information about how their child is really getting on at school. Parents don’t want to be told just the good things. They expect to be fully informed, but in a way which will be helpful to the child.
  • Parents expect schools to be welcoming when parents inquire about their children’s progress. Some parents say they don’t feel comfortable approaching the school, or that schools make them feel as though they are interfering in the work of specialists.
  • They prefer to be given information they can understand. Some say that schools use too much jargon in their reporting, and that the format of reports can be hard to follow. Parents prefer written reports that are clearly set out and easily understood. They value interpretive comments which target intervention, and support and direct learning especially in relation to strategies.
  • Parents are looking for opportunities to learn how they can help their child with their school work.
  • They wish to be told how their child is going in relation to other children in the class, and in relation to children generally across the State or Territory where they live. They appreciate comparative information related to a standard.
  • Parents appreciate comments by teachers which help them understand what the child’s results mean. Especially, they want to know how the results of outside tests the child has done relate to the teacher’s own assessment of the child.
  • They like to know how their child is behaving and developing as a person, as well as how they are going with their academic work.
  • Parents value teacher meetings that give them a chance to follow up on the written report.
  • Parents value partnerships.
  • They seek comprehensive, accurate, useful, quality and timely information to monitor and support their child/ren.
  • Parents value academic and non-academic information (including affective, social and physical development).
  • Parents appreciate reports that give them time to respond to what they learn.
  • In addition to written reports and parent-teacher meetings, many parents say they are keen to be more involved in keeping track of their children’s school work by having the chance to see work that has been marked, or by being asked to monitor homework and keep a check on student diaries.

These extracts have been taken from the Publications and Resources section of the Dept. of Education, Science and Training web site. Summaries taken from Best Practice in Reporting Student Achievement, Information for Teachers and Information for Parents. Additional information from Questions of Substance and Style (Cuttance and Stokes, 2000), DEET and Youth Affairs.