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'Bad parents' should be fined for not reading to their kids

BAD PARENTING: The head of Ofsted thinks parents who do not read with their children should be fined

PARENTS WHO do not read with their children or attend parents' evenings should be fined, the chief inspector of schools has suggested.

Head of Ofsted, Sir Michael Wilshaw also called for headteachers to have the power to punish parents who miss school events or allow their child’s homework to go undone.

He also spoke out against “bad parents” who were not supporting their children’s education.

During an interview with The Times, Wilshaw drew on his experience as a headteacher. He said: “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’.”

He added: “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 that they were bad parents.

"I think head teachers should have the power to fine them. It’s sending a message that you are responsible for your children no matter how poor you are.”

Wilshaw pinpointed one particular concern and accused white working class families of no longer regarding doing well at school as the way to improve their family’s future.

Children from migrant families were doing "astonishingly well" in contrast and were boosting Britain’s position in international league tables.

Wilshaw did not explain exactly how a system of fines might work.

His comments come as education secretary Michael Gove draws up plans for tougher sanctions – including cutting child benefit – in cases where pupils do not turn up to school without good reason.

Penalty notices of £60 can already be issued by headteachers and local authorities if parents do not ensure their children attend school up to the age of 16.

According to reports, more than 52,000 fixed- penalty notices were issued to parents last year – of which just over half were paid within 28 days.

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