School reports a ‘waste of time’ says head of £12,000-a-year school

School reports a ‘waste of time’ says head of £12,000-a-year school

December 26, 2018 By mediabest

School reports are a ‘waste of time’ says head of £12,000-a-year private school because ‘teachers are afraid of upsetting parents’

  • Dr Julian Murphy from Loughborough Amherst School has scrapped reports 
  • The headteacher said teachers are too afraid on confrontation to tell the truth 
  • Instead the £12,000-per-year school is brought in a 

Pushy parents who question criticism of their children have rendered school reports redundant as teachers are ‘no longer honest’ in their content.

Dr Julian Murphy, headteacher at the £12,000-a-year school Loughborough Amherst School has claimed in a bid to swerve conflict with mothers and fathers teachers are not honest in their remarks on paper.

Rather than be brutally honest teachers will use different descriptive words for children such as ‘chatty’ and ‘high spirited’ – instead of saying they are disruptive.

The headteacher of the school in Leicestershire said the ‘waffle’ used to fill the pages means reports are no longer worth doing.

‘When I went to school you would get reports that say ‘so and so is extremely lazy or arrogant’. But now no one says that – it would upset parents,’ Dr Murphy told The Daily Telegraph.

Loughborough Amherst School is no longer sending home reports since they are not always telling the whole truth about children’s conduct

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‘Then when parents say ‘Why didn’t anyone tell me there was a problem?’ teachers say ‘Well, we did’. But they did it too politely.

‘It is a cultural change – now parents are more likely to say to teachers: ‘You have upset my child, you have damaged their confidence, the problem isn’t my child, it’s you’.’ 

Loughborough Amherst School has axed reports in favour of a biannual set of ‘Smart’ – which stands for specific, measurable, action, relevant and , time related – targets. 

This kind of system is more like what is seen in the workplace. 

Parents are also encouraged to pick up the phone and speak with teachers if they encounter issues.

Children at the school are instead using a targets based system which mirrors the workplace – and not termly reports 

Dr Julian Murphy added: ‘Speaking as a parent, if my son or daughter is being badly behaved I want to know. I don’t want to be told they are chatty.

‘I don’t think traditional school reports are worth doing – they waste a lot of teacher time and they are not necessarily particularly useful for parents.

‘Parents are busy people. They don’t want to read through a load of waffle about how ‘Jane is a lovely girl’. They already know she is a lovely girl, they live with her. They want to know where she is at, what could she achieve, where is the gap and how do we close it.’

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