A primary interest of mine is supporting students development, & an important aspect of this is facilitating communication. @Stanmore college we have implemented what could be called an online “Personalised Learning Environment” (PLE) . This YouTube screen-cast should give you some insight. However in my experience it would do no harm if all maintained schools provided certain things as standard to staff & parents online.
In a recent book called “14-18 a new vision for secondary education” by Kenneth Baker (a former secretary of state for education), Mike Tomlinson and others makes a number of recommendations. The fundamental recommendations being establishing more middle schools for 9-13yrs, and improving the options we offer 14-18 year olds and their families.
It makes the point that we should learn from other countries with lower youth unemployment, and create (~3) substantial, popular & respected alternative pathways to GCSEs @16yrs, and Alevels @18yrs. Although it suggests that all 14-18 yr old should have a broad education including English, Maths, Sport, Science… it suggests a larger part of all students learning should be making connections with the real world of work and the jobs we do. The following PLE diagram includes a page supporting learning pathway choices at 14 & career advice . The diagram should be seen in conjunction with this screen-cast of an initial implementation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qYId0FKm4E
#Click image to enlarge