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London MP urges schools to ditch online parents' evenings with meetings 'brutally cut off' after 5 mins

Labour MP Fleur Anderson wants schools to return to face-to-face parents' evening meetings (PA Wire)
Labour MP Fleur Anderson wants schools to return to face-to-face parents' evening meetings (PA Wire)

Schools are being urged by a London MP to return to face-to-face parents’ evenings to stop online meetings being “brutally cut off”.

Putney MP Fleur Anderson told of the “frustration” of parents across London who only get a few minutes speaking to a teacher before the meeting are ended by an automated system.

The mother-of-four tweeted after an online parents’ evening:  “I’m sorry I ever complained about real life parents evenings. I hate online ones.

“The cut off after 5 mins is brutal. No chats with other parents. No connection with the school by going there.”

Speaking to The Standard, she added: “This is a frustration of parents across London.

“I would encourage schools to get back to face-to-face parents’ evenings - I think parents would like that.”

She emphasised that such events also had community benefits, with parents meeting other parents, and seeing the school where their children are taught.

Schools use a variety of systems including SchoolCloud for online parents’ evenings.

Some headteachers say that parents, carers and staff prefer having these discussions online rather than in person.

They also claim it leads to more parents taking part in these events to hear how their children are doing at school.

Parents are warned at some schools that each appointment will only last five minutes and that longer discussions will have to take place via phone calls or email.

But the systems to login can be complex and could be difficult for some parents to master.

Teachers at some schools can end the five-minute appointment before the time is up and then the parent would return to the page to wait for their next appointment.