I feel lucky to have worked with some outstanding colleagues and to have developed with many parents who I have absolute respect for (and, as a fledgling parent, hope to emulate), and through these interactions, it has been clear that the best communication between parents and teachers comes about as part of a long-term relationship. The parent who believes in the teacher's best intentions for their child will seek that teacher out for help, regardless of the timings, conventions and constraints of the parent-teacher conference. As such, it is perhaps not surprising that I have seen the most effective communication from top quality house staff in boarding schools: those for whom contact with parents can be on myriad issues will earn the trust of those parents, and build rich relationships with students and parents alike.
Who's getting it right? The teacher who takes the time to understand the human being behind the label of 'student' or 'parent'. And, of course, it takes the parent to do their bit too!