'Championing the rights of children'

"Feckless" parents should be shamed if they fail to turn up for parents' evening, head of Ofsted says

Garry Sat 04 Jul 2015 08:15

"Feckless" mothers and fathers should be shamed and told they are "bad parents" if they fail to turn up for parents' evening, the head of Ofsted has said.

Sir Michael Wilshaw also said he wished he had the abilities to fine parents if they weren’t showing signs they cared about their children’s education when he was a teacher.

His comments follow earlier remarks that white working-class children were using poverty as an excuse to perform badly at school.

Sir Michael told the Sutton Trust summit in London: ‘It’s really up to head teachers to be challenging. I used to send very nasty letters to parents who didn’t turn up to parents evening, saying ‘you’re not going to get your son or daughter’s report until you come and see me. You haven’t turned up to parents evening three times on the trot.”

“And on a number of occasions I would say “you’re a bad parent, you’re not supporting your child”. The reaction was not great, but it needs to be said.

“I’d have loved to have had the legal backing to fine parents who didn’t support the school, but that’s a long way off I suspect.”

He conceded the policy would cause controversy and said that fining must be a last option only for families which were obviously not making any effort.

He added: ‘I would have loved, as a head teacher, to have said to a parent, you haven’t been to a parents’ evening on three successive occasions, you don’t ensure your children come to school with books in the morning, I’m going to impose a fine which will be supported by law.

Read more... (Daily Telegraph - 01 July)