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How can parent–teacher meetings be more effective and engaging for all participants?

Written by: Patrick Lanigan
9 min read
Patrick Lanigan, Deputy Headteacher, St John Southworth Enterprise and Research Alliance, UK Introduction This article explores an action research study conducted at two London boys’ secondary schools into improving parent and student educational engagement. It focuses on one aspect of the original study relating to improving discourse, by re-engineering parent–teacher meetings to be more inclusive for all participants. The method of inquiry included questionnaires, focus groups, interviews and audio recordings of the meetings with a cohort of students over two years, starting in Year 11. It identifies barriers faced by parents, students and teachers through analysis of the original meetings. It provides recommendations for how a more collaborative structure can be adopted through suitable preparation, training and the adoption of active listening techniques by the teacher during the meeting. It discusses the benefits of an inclusive approach, including increased levels of stud

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