All of us want our children to achieve at school. There are a number of factors that influence academic achievement. Not all are dependent on the child. The school attended, the teachers encountered, the benefits that you can offer and the aspirations that parents have for their children, including the modelling of attitudes will all impact.

The attributes the child brings to the situation such as natural ability, aptitudes and attitudes (sometimes called habits of mind), and personal motivation will all play their part.

All parents want the best for their children, and this includes having opportunities that follow on at the end of primary and secondary education. Academic achievement is critical in opening doors for young people as they move towards tertiary options, whether these turn out to be university, technical, or on the job training. If a child has difficulties which present as barriers to their learning, the earlier assessment is provided, the better the outcome. Similarly if a child has high ability, assessment that leads to understanding and recognition of that ability, as well as provision of support, will give better outcomes the earlier it can be provided. Comprehensive assessment of achievement and ability will help to determine what supports and strategies will be needed in either situation.

Assessment and understanding of achievement will facilitate the development of an individual plan. In education this is called an IEP (individual education plan) or ILP (individual learning plan). Communication is another essential ingredient in academic achievement. It is critical that stakeholders including parents, the student, educators and any experts involved, talk with each other.

This does not always happen, as frequently professional reports are provided to the school, which teachers then have to interpret without the face to face opportunity, before action is taken. Young Advantage takes the perspective that face to face communication with all stakeholders needs to occur. The best outcomes are achieved for the child when everyone is clear on what is needed. Assessment will include a face to face discussion with a student’s teacher, as well as collaborative support in the development of the ILP or IEP. Further advocacy as required can be provided.

Any concerns around achievement should be directed to YoungAdvantage.