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Making the Most of Parent Teacher Meetings

Whether your child is in Primary or Secondary School, the Parent Teacher Meeting is an important time to meet with your child’s teacher(s) in a one to one setting. Furthermore, it lets your child know that you care about their progress and their schools. In Primary school parents will usually only meet with the child’s class teacher. In Secondary school, however you will meet with all or most of their subject teachers (around six to ten individual teachers).

However, at each level the objectives are similar. It is a chance to see how your child is getting on in school, where their strengths and weaknesses lie, how they socialise with other children in the classroom, playground, extra curricular activities etc. It is also a chance for your teacher to learn more about your child in order that you can work together for your child’s success.

Facing our child’s education can be daunting for some parents who carry feelings of anxiety from their own schooldays. However, many parents are surprised to learn that teachers, especially new ones, are equally anxious about meeting parents! So the best way to approach is to be positive and remember you are working on the same team.

The time limit for each parent(s) at the annual Parent Teacher Meeting at Primary school is about 10 to 15 minutes long. And at second level just a few minutes with each subject teacher.
It is therefore important to stick to the time allotted, as it can be irritating for other parents if the teacher’s time is monopolised by a couple of parents. (If there is a lengthy issue to discuss schedule a later appointment)
So it helps to do a little a little advance work to maximise this valuable time. Here are a few pointers that may help

A Few Pointers

Talk to your child. Let them know about the meeting and ask them if there is anything they would like you raise with their Teacher(s). If you have any previous reports, check them for progress, trends, repeated behaviour and names of your child’s subject teachers! Come with prepared questions. Jot them down and anything else you want to raise in order to keep focused.

The teacher will usually start with an outline of your child’s progress and will probably have examples of their work, test marks etc. So try and keep your questions specific and ask the important ones first

Sample Questions

Obviously emphasis and questions change as your child makes his or her way up through the school, but here is a range of example questions you may find useful.

  • What area is s/he best at?
  • Is s/he working to the best of his /her ability?
  • Does s/he comprehend what s/he reads?
  • Are there any areas s/he finds difficult? If so what are these specific areas?
  • Do you have any suggestions as to what I might do at home to help?
  • Does s/he participate in class?
  • How does s/he relate to others in the class?
  • Does s/he hand up homework /assignments on time, completed and at an acceptable level?
  • What does my child's high/low standardised test scores tell me about my child? (standardised tests are usually completed at the end of 2nd, 4th & 6th class)
  • Does s/he have difficulty paying attention/following instructions/organising work or notes?
  • Is there anything about his/her performance or behaviour that you are concerned about?
  • Is s/he coping with the particular subject level?
  • How does s/he cope with exam stress?
  • If your child has learning difficulties clarify what help is available and other courses of action that needs to be addressed.
  • Remember to take notes, as it’s easy to forget something, particularly with the number of teachers to see at Secondary level


If you need to review anything suggest a further meeting there and then or phone/e-mail/write and set up an appointment that suits both of you.

Let your child know how the meeting went. They are usually curious to know what their teacher(s) think about them!

Print off our primary or secondary parent teacher meeting planner below to take with you to the meeting

To download and print your primary parent teacher meeting sheet click on the PDF below
To download and print your secondary parent teacher meeting sheet click on the PDF below