MOST TEACHERS cope with lesson plans and marking homework as they try to inspire young minds. But one school has decided to branch out to teach parents as well.
Fathers of girls at St Catherine's, in Bramley, Surrey, have been learning how to be better dads with the help of an American psychologist and a lacrosse stick.
Alice Phillips, the headteacher, thought her pupils were missing out because of the long hours their dads worked. When she offered professional help in the form of JoAnn Deak, the psychologist, she was overwhelmed by the response.
More than 200, about a third of all the fathers at the pound;11,130 a year school, went to the "Fathering daughters" lecture to hear what Dr Deak had to say.
"I explained the importance of spending time with their daughters. If a father is busy he needs to carve out space for his daughter that is sacrosanct," said Dr Deak.
Jonathan Carroll, who attended the session, said: "The teenage girl is a mystery to most of their fathers. This was a fantastic insight into the female psyche."
Mrs Phillips also organised a training session and match for the dads to learn about lacrosse. She said that dads would come along at the weekends to cheer on their daughters but their comments were not always appropriate.
Next year dads will be put through their paces again by Vic Alexander, the head of PE, this time in netball.