Parents who fail to support their children’s education should be fined, the Chief Inspector of Schools has claimed.
Ofsted head Sir Michael Wilshaw said head teachers should be allowed to penalise parents who don’t properly engage with their children’s education.
Currently parents can be fined £60 if their child fails to attend school and plays truant.
Speaking to The Times, Sir Michael recalled his days as a headteacher.
“I was absolutely clear with parents – if they weren’t doing a good job I would tell them so. It’s up to head teachers to say quite clearly, ‘You’re a poor parent.’ If parents didn’t come into school, didn’t come to parents’ evening, didn’t read with their children, didn’t ensure they did their homework, I would tell them they were bad parents.”
Fines for such parents would send “the message that you are responsible for your children no matter how poor you are.”
The Chief Inspector added:
“It’s not about income or poverty. Where families believe in education they do well. If they love their children they should support them in schools.”
Malcolm Trobe is deputy general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders. He argued that engagement was better than confrontation.
“It’s very important that schools engage with their community and with the parent body and they are very aware of the need to do this. It’s reasonable to challenge parents, but confrontation rarely leads to a positive outcome.”