In my country, all schools have short meetings each semester, where the child, their parents, and their mentor (a teacher who has overall responsibility for the child) meet to discuss how the child is doing in school. In my language we call these talks "development talks", because the purpose is to support the child, and help the child develop, rather than to simply report achievements. Now I'm wondering if there is something similar in (any of the) English-speaking countries and if so, what these talks are called. I have found "parent-teacher conference", but those seem to exclude the child, and their main purpose seems to be to let the parents know how their child is doing, rather than to help the child evolve.

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    When my (UK) kids were at at school, there were parents' evenings. You got a slot with their class teacher. The purpose was similar to the meetings you describe. Commented Sep 29, 2022 at 21:48
  • @MichaelHarvey Thanks! And the child took part in these talks as well?
    – Helen
    Commented Sep 29, 2022 at 21:54
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    As far as I know, these events don't exist in Canada or the US, except maybe at some private schools. In my entire childhood, I might have been with a parent and a teacher at the same time twice.
    – gotube
    Commented Sep 30, 2022 at 1:01
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    This seems a question about educational methodology as much as about language. (I'm not sure if there's anywhere on SE to discuss whether such talks are common in the US system.)
    – Stuart F
    Commented Sep 30, 2022 at 11:09
  • @StuartF Yes, I agree – as much as. But not rather than :) So I hope my question is ok anyway :)
    – Helen
    Commented Oct 1, 2022 at 21:01

1 Answer 1


Parents' evening would be a common expression, even if the children are expected to attend too. I've also heard consultation evening used, or "parent-teacher conference" is an American variation that means the same.

The aim is to "help the young person develop". A teacher might well do this by telling them how they are doing, and what they can do differently, etc. So there isn't clear distinction in the aim of the meetings. Even an old fashioned "parent-teacher conference" with no child present is still intended to help the child develop.

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