For the first time, a survey by Switzerland’s head teachers’ association asked about parent-teacher relations.
In French-speaking1 Switzerland, 55% listed parent-teacher relations as a principle concern, in second place after concern over the health of teachers (73%), who are finding their job increasingly stressful.
Across the rösti graben in German-speaking Switzerland, 45% thought parent-teacher relations was a principle concern, but it was several places behind the leading concern: Lehrplan 21 implementation (66%) – Lehrplan 21 is a project to revamp and harmonize the school syllabus across German-speaking Switzerland.
Le News spoke to one teacher in Vaud, a French-speaking canton, who described significant changes in parental attitudes towards teachers over the last 35 years. Among some parents, the relationship has become transactional: I pay my taxes so I expect a service. Before there was more respect for teachers, she said.
Integration of children with special needs into regular classes was also high on the list of head teacher concerns. In French-speaking Switzerland this came third (53%), in German-speaking Switzerland it was second (57%).
The second most frequently cited concern in German-speaking Switzerland was getting schools ready for digital challenges (53%). This was a concern for only 34% in French-speaking Switzerland.
1Also includes the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino.