Hostile parents disrupt discipline

2nd March 2001 at 00:00
The chief inspector of schools has reported that the behaviour of secondary pupils is deteriorating. I would go further than this and say that it is not only the pupils who cause us concern but also their parents.

Not so long ago parents of children who had been disciplined accepted teachers' right to do this and indeed often wrote a letter of apology on behalf of their errant infant.

Not these days. Parents seem to think their rights and those of their child must override those of the school community. Attempts to impose discipline are now met with hostility and aggression.Parents fire off copious complaining letters to governors, directors of education and, for all I know, the Lord Lion King of Arms. Some even send round "heavies" to sort out brave heads.

All the educational reforms in the world will do nothing to improve standards in schools until the nettle of discipline is grasped - there are few megalomaniac heads in the country, I am sure, and the endless procession of protest and appeal has surely got out of hand. Sledgehammers and nuts come to mind.

Joan S R Olivier Headmistress Lady Margaret school Parson's Green London SW6

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