Call to fine parents who swear at teachers

Sir Michael Wilshaw wants to penalise those who fail to attend parents’ evenings or bring pupils to Saturday detentions

Tes Reporter

Sir Michael Wilshaw, a former head of Ofsted, would like to see parents fined for repeatedly swearing at school staff

Fines should be dished out to parents who swear at headteachers, fail to attend parents’ evenings or refuse to bring pupils to Saturday detentions, according to a former Ofsted chief inspector.

Sir Michael Wilshaw wants to see £100 fines for persistent offenders. “If you consistently do not go to parents’ evenings, you should be fined," he told The Sunday Times.

"If you are abusive more than once to a headteacher, [you should be fined]. Headteachers should be able to say enough is enough.”

Warning'Must a teacher die before action is taken?'

Quick read:  Fines up 75% in term-time holiday crackdown

Comment: Why are parents so hard to engage in secondary schools?

Parents can already be fined for pupils' term-time absences at £60 per child per parent, rising to £120 if not paid within 21 days. Families refusing to pay the fines can be prosecuted.

Parents 'abuse and threaten teachers'

Sir Michael's call for action comes the day after headteachers warned that school staff were increasingly being subjected to physical attacks from parents.

Delegates at the NAHT heads union's national conference in Telford heard that teachers had been threatened with an axe and with being killed.

Tim Gallagher, a school leader from Wolverhampton, said: “Teachers and senior staff have all experienced ‘angry parent syndrome’ where a parent has stormed in, raising fire and thunder, looking for Mr A or Mr B who has had the temerity to deal with his or her child in a way that he or she does not approve of.

“This has often led to verbal or even physical abuse of staff." 

He said: "We must address ourselves to the problem as it is now. Do we need to have a death of a headteacher or a death of a senior member of staff, like Jo Cox [the MP who was murdered in 2016], before we take this seriously?”


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