FOR many parents seeing a report card full of “C” grades can be a shock.

A “C” grade traditionally has a reputation for adequate, or mediocre work, simply scraping through.

But one school principal has told parents they should celebrate a “C”, rather than denigrate it.

According to Canterbury South Public School principal Daniela Frasca, kids who achieve just the bare minimum in English and maths are to be praised.

* For more stories like this, head to Kidspot

In a newsletter issued to parents Ms Frasca assured anxious parents that those children who had a lowly “C” weren’t off the rails, they were, in fact, “on track.”

“C” is to be celebrated” she told parents.

“C means that your child is ‘on track’ in relation to what he or she is expected to learn. Other grades will indicate whether your child is doing better than expected or needs more help.”


But experts in the field disagree, expressing concern that such attitudes encourage mediocrity.

University of Sydney educational psychology professor Helen Watt told The Daily Telegraph it was the wrong message.

“A ‘C’ grade on its own is nothing to be celebrated, but if it means they’ve improved, that should be what is being celebrated.”

Her comments have been echoed by parents with one mum saying that the principal was “lowering the bar” too far in this “give everyone a prize” culture.

“Why should we reward mediocrity? Shouldn’t we push our kids to achieve what they can instead of accepting an average result?” said one mother.

While a father of three called for the school to “lift their game.”

“We don’t send our kids to school to teach them to be average. What kind of nation are we turning into if we accept that?”


But others defended the “C” students arguing that the world isn’t made of people who achieved straight As.

“C means they have a sound understanding. The next one up means they have done really well and the top one, outstanding, means they are working and achieving a year ahead. That may go to a few kids,” wrote one woman.

“There’s nothing wrong with ‘sound’, or C. It refers to having a solid grasp of concepts and ready to build on that strong understanding. A lot of new learning takes time to build on and C is a good start.”

The NSW Department of Education told Kidspot that the “newsletter makes it clear that a ‘C’ grade means a sound outcome from a student whose work is on track — not ‘mediocre’ — and that the school encourages the celebration of all results students have worked hard for.”

“The School executive are the people best placed to know how to communicate with their communities, including helping parents interpret grades and encourage their children.”

While the Victorian department of education who also use the A-E report card method, say a ‘C’ rating means that a student is at the standard expected for Preps at the time of reporting.

On their website they explain that a ‘B’ rating means that a student is above the standard expected for Preps, an ‘A’ rating means a student is well above the standard expected for Preps, a ‘D’ rating means a student is below the standard expected, while an ‘E’ rating means a student is well below the standard expected for Preps.

The department reassures parents that a ‘C’ rating indicates that their child has met the “statewide standard expected for students in their age group” and “their learning is firmly on track.”