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Ofsted chief says fine unsupportive parents

The head of Ofsted says he would like to see parents who did not support their children fined


In a bid to drive up standards and engage mums and dads in their child’s education Sir Michael Wilshaw said schools should be allowed to punish those who are uninterested.

In a speech this week he said: “I used to send very nasty letters to parents who didn’t turn up to parents’ evening and say ‘You’re not going to get your son or daughter’s report until you come and see me’.

“On a number of occasions I would say ‘You’re a bad parent, you’re not supporting your child’.

“I’d love to have had the legal backing to fine parents who didn’t support the school.”

Sir Michael added that fining must be a last option only for parents who were obviously not making any effort: “The feckless parent, who just does not support, they should be told. They should be told unequivocally that they’re not supporting the school and if necessary, fined. Fine parents who don’t turn up to parents’ evenings”.

Under the current system, families who take their children out of school without permission are already given a fine.

Unauthorised absence is £60 per child, this rises to £120 if it is not paid within 21 days.

Earlier this year a family from Devon were fined over £300 after they went on a mini-holiday to Perranporth in Cornwall.

Simon and Karen Richardson took their nine, seven and six year old children out of their primary school for five days.

Recently, Hampshire County Council said it is deploying so-called late-gate patrols to ask tardy parents why their children are late for school.

It has brought in £60 fines for “poor patterns of attendance and punctuality”.

It is understood that mums and dads of children late for registration 10 times can be hit with a penalty.

Nearly 500 primary and secondary schools in Hampshire have warned parents the new rules come into force this September.

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