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What makes a good school – from a parent’s point of view?

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Started by Tessa Gray 13 Dec 2011 11:13am () Replies (3)

Its that time of the year when parents gather around, share reports, brag about accomplishments and try and decipher what national standards mean to their child’s achievement. This doesn’t come without some comparisons.


Some schools have detailed reports, others less so. Some have ‘star of the year’ certificates, others acknowledge everyone - without singling out pupils. Some parents wonder if the local school is ‘good enough’ and contemplate alternatives. But based on what?


It got me wondering what makes a good school – from a parent’s point of view?


There’s much conjecture out there and some of it is not based on factual information. I was reading the article on “Waiting for super schools” in the New Zealand Herald in the weekend, about prospects for charter schools, where professor John Hattie was quoted saying, “…contrary to many parents’ belief, school choice has relatively little effect on students’ achievement. The biggest difference occurs within schools, not between them.”


So how do you think parents see your school? Is it a ‘good school’ because it's in the right area; a religious school, the teachers are nice, good clientele, has sporting trophies, good access to resources and technology, effective liaison with parents, great NCEA results? Are parents aware of the research behind what makes effective education or does it come down to a backyard chat across the fence? 


  • Saira Boyle (View all users posts) 24 Jan 2012 10:13pm ()


    I think it starts with and pivots around a whole school community understanding of the school Vision. If parents, students and staff alike can articulate (at their level) and live the Vision/'flavour' of the school, it gives parents something against which to 'see' or 'judge' their school??

    Is it about meeting the individual needs of the child couples with a shared common factor?

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 03 Feb 2012 11:02am ()

    Hi Saira, thanks for your comments. I’d have to agree, having a strong sense of what your educative community is trying to achieve (together) is a sound way of keeping everyone (wider community) informed/involved in school decisions, activities and outcomes for students.


    The e-Learning Planning Framework also talks about engaging with whānau/iwi and wider through the use of e-learning tools as well as about the impact of technologies.


    I’m just wondering how does your school keep parents informed and engaged about the school’s vision for learning and wondering if this is with an e-learning lens at all?

    Tess Smile

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Beyond the Classroom

Beyond the Classroom

Beyond the classroom - Connecting school to the wider community with and about technologies.