Parent Teacher Night: Scheduling makes a difference!

Want to connect with parents? Think your current school parent-teacher night (PTN) events work well? How would you know? Parental involvement is so important to student outcomes that the USA has proposed jailing parents who don’t attend interviews (

There is a revolution underway in how PTN events are scheduled in schools and surprisingly, it makes a big difference. It all relates to the ‘method’ used to schedule interviews.

Historically, students went round with paper, manually booking interviews with teachers. This is the most common method still in use today. The advantage? It’s simple. But what are the hidden costs?    

It is educationally poor. Less organised students rarely book properly, if at all.

It is unfair. This method favours those who book early, over those who book later. It doesn’t fairly allocate interviews according to the needs of all participants.

It is bad for parents. Only ‘early booking’ students get time efficient schedules for their parents, and families with multiple children usually have poor quality schedules. Late booking parents can’t see who they want, as key teachers book out quickly.

It leads to poor reporting. Schools rarely know which, or how many parents attend interviews.