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Imagine a World Without Parents' Evenings

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Now that the nights are drawing in, children in schools across the country will soon be clutching slips of paper and making appointments with their teachers in preparation for what may well be the first official parents' evening of the new academic year.

Most parents are familiar with the routine. You unfurl the scrunched up A4 appointment sheet that's often illegible and has probably spent the best part of the last two weeks in the bottom of your child's bag.

And parents' evening itself could be likened to an educational speed dating event where you shuffle from teacher to teacher and try to get answers to all the questions you have about your child's progress in school within the allotted ten minutes.

But not if you are the parent of a child at Ruthin School, an independent, co-educational day and boarding school in North Wales.

The school gives parents so much information on how their child is doing throughout the year that they have ditched the traditional parents' evening in favour of a wine and cheese, meet-the-teacher social event. And parents are delighted!

Despite its 700 year history, Ruthin School has an incredibly modern approach to communicating with parents. Each child in the school is assessed in every subject every two weeks and parents can access their child's grades through an online portal from the moment they are tapped into the school's computer.

Parents can also find out about other things they want to know, such as information on their child's attendance, punctuality in handing in homework, merits or house points they have achieved and even comments their teachers have made on work they've submitted.

Of course, those parents who wish to are more than welcome to call the school or come in and see their child's teacher if they have any queries or concerns. A full report is also published online at the end of every term. But with so much information at their fingertips, parents no longer need to attend a busy, stressful parents' evening to find out how their child is doing because they already know.

They now prefer to meet their child's teachers and other parents and chat over a cup of tea or a glass of wine. The school has found parents are much more engaged in their child's education since the changes have been made. And teachers are much better keeping their pupils' records up to date too.

With more and more of us logging on to PCs, laptops and mobile devices in all areas of our lives, could we soon be seeing the end of an era for the traditional parents' evening?