I'm parent governor at a creative secondary school where students come from all over London so there's no local parent community. We're aiming to increase communication about teaching & learning, and wider school issues, by using online tools (the school's own website and a Facebook group). We're also increasing informal parent-teacher meet-ups for more socialising, sharing news and opportunities, with a real emphasis on mutuality. Hopefully, this will have influence on the 'parent-teacher conferences' in turn, which are very formulaic. Teachers have to repeat basic information 20-40 times, that the child/student already knows, and we have little time to ask questions. Much better would be more like a careers fair or surgery set-up where parents/students can get information on paper (if not beforehand), challenges for learning could be made visual such as in posters, and informal conversations can focus on what is really needed.