Catherine Delahunty
Select Committee Inquiry into Engaging Parents in the Education of their Children

This Inquiry needs to hear from as many parents, students and teachers as possible. We need to hear about the excellent initiatives that already exist to build relationships between parents, schools and students. One such initiative is the three way conferences between teacher, parents and student held in many schools early in the term each year.These conferences allow all parties to discuss learning goals and issues at the beginning of the year.

We also needs to hear from parents, students and teachers about the deeper challenges faced in education. This was reinforced to me by a parent I met at a public education forum who pointed out to me that her children were struggling at school because she and her husband had several part-time jobs each to pay the rent and that she was never home at the right time to help with homework. She said if the minimum wage was lifted she could work less and support her children better in their education. We need to hear from parents with students with special needs who cannot get sufficient support for their children to experience inclusive education. We need to hear from families who have struggled to walk through the school gates because of their previous culturally hostile reception and how and whether this has actually changed.

We want to hear about best practice formed everyone’s point of view including the students and the tricky issues for a really good relationship. This Inquiry is not just about individual schools who have best practice in this field it’s also about what parental engagement means in our current highly unequal society. When teachers have to keep extra food and clothing in the classroom for hungry and cold children and charities have to provide breakfast we know parents are struggling. We need to hear great ideas to address this, some of which could be about political change and the need for equity as a goal in education. The Inquiry needs to hear a broad range of voices. Here is a link to the terms of reference and the November 7 deadline for submissions.

24 thoughts on “Select Committee Inquiry into Engaging Parents in the Education of their Children

  1. A great idea is a legal requirement that EVERY school MUST report their child’s progress to parents. Many schools simply didn’t do this in the past.

    And that every school has to make suggestions to parents of activities at home that will assist their child in their work at school.

    Both of these are new requirements under National Standards, which the Greens continually campaign against.

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  2. Yes, we already know, Photo, that, in your opinion, poor people, even working ones, are not allowed anything which can be construed as luxuries to make their life less drab.

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  3. Kerry says “Utter crap. have you ever actually had anything to do with a school, Photo?”

    You show your ignorance Kerry.

    Prior to NS,many schools couldn’t report to parents, because they DIDN’T DO any assessments, didn’t collect useful information, only assessed some years (i.e.missed out whole years of children), or failed to assess important subjects.

    Only half of schools were found to be effective in the way they reported progess to parents

    The ERO report into school assessments prior to National Standards found (quote)

    “What did ERO find?

    In over 40 percent of schools, assessment did not produce useful information about students’ achievement and progress.

    Most schools collected comprehensive achievement information for some but not all subject areas and year levels. In many cases, this information did not give an accurate picture of students’ progress over time.

    In 52 percent of schools, teachers used assessment to inform their programmes. However, many schools did not use the information to identify groups of students who needed extra assistance.

    Sixty percent of schools did not use good formative assessment strategies.

    Half the schools were effective in the way that they reported achievement information to parents and to the school community.”

    Under National Standards, for the first time ever, it is now a requirement of ALL schools to report REGULARLY to parents

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1 (+1)

  4. And talking to parents. Never heard of parent Teacher evenings.

    Trouble is the parents that you really want to talk to usually don’t turn up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 (0)

  5. Kerry says “So the bullshit paperwork was not done.”

    On planet Kerry, all assessment is done mentally.

    Then to get an idea of a child’s progress, all a teacher has to do is track down previous teachers from all over the place and ask them if they remember Johnny Smith from a few years back and what his grades were for various subjects.

    That you think keeping a record of each child’s progress is “bullshit paperwork” gives an insight to the level of your ignorance.

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  6. “Yeah. I don’t know anything”

    Good summary of Kerry’s thoughts by Kerry

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  7. Shows why we need a much higher standard of teacher, when after going through all the training, you think of student assessments as nothing more than “bullshit paperwork”.

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  8. So knowing how my children are progressing in various subjects, areas where they may need extra help, and things I can do to help them at home, is nothing more than “bullshit paperwork” to you.

    I hope for the children’s sake you are no longer teaching.

    Any teacher with your attitude should be sacked instantly.

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  9. Don’t worry Photo, I knew exactly how children I was teaching were progressing and where they were at. More experienced Teachers had an even better idea.

    I could explain about different types of assessment, summative and formative for example. The effect of having too narrow a range of KPI’s (As relevant to assessing school students as it is to management) The effectiveness of top down high trust management models compared to bureaucratic authoritarian low trust management, as embodied by Governments treatment of Teachers, and many other proven ideas, but I know it would go right over your head.

    We used to laugh at “flag of convenience state” audits where they looked at the paperwork, not the ship. Now that model has infected way too many fields, including education.

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  10. Kerry says “Don’t worry Photo, I knew exactly how children I was teaching were progressing and where they were at. ”

    All teachers think that.

    But as ERO found, prior to National Standards around half of all schools failed to properly assess children in a way that produced useful info, failed to assess some subjects, or some years, and failed to properly report to parents.

    I know kids whose teachers were giving them great reports – top of class – only to find they were way behind their peers when they moved across town and started at their new local school.

    Teachers, classes, and schools have a huge variation in ability, and if all assessments are only in teachers heads, then there’s no ability to quickly identify problems, or identify teaching methods that might work better.

    It’s like formula one teams making all sorts of adjustments to their cars, but never bothering to measure what improves lap times and what’s slower.

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  11. You do know Photo, that one of the major objections to “National standards” is that they are too badly designed, narrowly focused and “RELIANT ON SUBJECTIVE ASSESSMENTS BY TEACHERS”. In other words. Not likely to fix your concerns.

    And the insistence on homogeneity, and assessment of a narrow range of skills, works against the type of, tailored to the student, approach and variety of teaching methods the new curriculum was designed to encourage.

    The “huge variation in ability and outcomes” is only in your head, and urban myth, Photo.
    It has been shown time and time again that a student will achieve about the same no matter what school they go to. In fact students often do better as one of the top students in a low decile school than as one of the herd in a private school.
    One of the reasons why private schools have to be propped up by Government is the little extra value they deliver despite the huge extra cost both to tax payers and parents. As even Key says the value is in the contacts the children make. The first step into the old boys club.

    Lets face it Photo. The main reason why your heroes are intent on fucking up our education system, is so they can make money with private provision of education.

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  12. Kerry says “The “huge variation in ability and outcomes” is only in your head, and urban myth, Photo.”

    Talk about head in the sand. In Kerry’s world there are no bad teachers.

    And if there are, just pretend they don’t exist.

    Kerry says “One of the reasons why private schools have to be propped up by Government is the little extra value they deliver despite the huge extra cost both to tax payers and parents. ”

    More utter and total nonsense. Tax payers fund private schools at just quarter the rate per child compared to public schools.

    Then we have a farcical conspiracy theory that public schools are being made deliberately worse.

    You really need to check out the weather on planet earth some day.

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  13. Photo looks around and sees people that have to be forced into doing their job by micro-managers wielding a big stick. Teachers who have to be caned into doing the job dictated to them by Government.

    I look around and see a bunch of people who, mostly, try and do the best they can for their students. Not all “stars”. But we cannot all be “stars”.

    Some who have given up because of frustration and burn out. Often caused by the aforesaid micro-management. I have often thought, PERFING should be available for some Teachers.

    The fact that Photo thinks that people will only do a good job if they are managed and made “accountable” by bosses wielding a big stick, and motivated by higher pay, says a lot about him!

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  14. This is why the nutters in ACT, and National, are so keen on “Charter Schools”.

    http://jonathanturley.org/2013/03/16/charter-schools-and-the-profit-motive/

    It has everything to do with making a profit out of public money, and very little to do with improving education.

    Even national are not silly enough to think that “Charter Schools” which are more costly, but make little difference to overall education outcomes, (As the evidence shows in UK the USA and Sweden), are anything more than ways of private firms making extra profits from our taxes.

    If National standards are so good why are private and “Charter” schools not required to use them.

    Of course a two tier education system where the children of the rich are educated and the rest are schooled in the 3R’s, as cannon fodder for industry, is an excellent way of perpetuating class, as the UK has shown, for decades. It makes sure that the children of the “lower classes” can never challenge the “elite” for the good jobs and political positions.

    As Warren Buffet said. “The class war is a fact, and my class , the rich class, have won!”

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  15. Kerry says “This is why the nutters in ACT, and National, are so keen on “Charter Schools”. It has everything to do with making a profit out of public money, and very little to do with improving education.”

    Meanwhile back on planet earth, out of thousands of schools, the govt has allowed just 5 charter schools.

    Of those, four will be operated by trusts, and just ONE by a company.

    So Kerry thinks the government are hell-bent on private companies taking over the running of schools, all because one single solitary school will be run by a company.

    You have to get better conspiracy stories. That’s woeful.

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  16. Every theft starts with “just one house” or “just a bit of money”!

    Watch those few charter schools get heaps of money thrown at them, confidentially of course (They are not subject to the OIA, Funny that!), to make them look good.

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  17. Those who want to get their hands on our wealth do not need a conspiracy. They have enough delusional fuckwits like you, Photo, that believe “private good, public bad” to ensure the transfer of wealth from the public to a few wealthy people continues.

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