Ofstead Chief Sir Michael Wilshaw called for headteachers across the UK to have the authority to fine mothers and fathers, who fail to support their children’s education. This includes financial penalties against parents who do not force their children to do their homework, or missing a school event.
“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.I think headteachers should have the power to fine them. It’s sending the message that you are responsible for your children, no matter how poor you are.”
Sir Michael also called for the return of textbooks and the reform for exams.
While the lowest performing demographic in England’s schools is the poor white working class, the head of Ofstead emphasised on how poverty is too often used as an excuse for poor parenting and accused poor white families of not valuing education enough to improve their children’s future.
In order to compete with the world’s leading nations, the gap in performance between the children of immigrant parents and those of white British parents needs to be narrowed. He 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.”
In response to the proposal, the teachers have criticised the new initiative to fine “bad parents” who do not support their children’s education at school. Refusing to be branded as debt collectors for the State.
The Head of Penwortham Priory Academy in Preston, Jim Hourigan, believes the new proposal would destroy the fragile relationship between the school and careers and parents.
“Who gives this arrogance of the man as head of Ofsted or me as a head teacher the right to make that decision. He says that parents must attend parents’ evenings but where is the evidence that parents’ evenings are actually beneficial? Surely, regular informed contact (with parents), built up over a long time, is a better way of going about that.”