MPs back bugs on parents

28th March 1997 at 00:00
Parents of disruptive children should be trained to cope by hidden experts advising through earpieces, says a parliamentary committee.

In a new report on children's mental health services, the Commons Health Committee says ministers should back schemes pioneered in America where parents receive one-to-one instruction through a "bug in the ear" while with their children. Initiatives such as Parent Management Training are said to have been more successful in reducing conduct disorders than conventional therapy.

Increasing numbers of children are thought to have psychiatric or psychological problems, prompting the committee's investigation. The MPs found "compelling" evidence of a growth in such problems.

"Our witnesses agreed that the current provision of child and adolescent mental health services is inadequate both in quality and in geographical spread," the report states.

The select committee is particularly critical of the treatment meted out to excluded pupils, many of whom have serious disorders. "The current arrangements, under which no effective alternative education is arranged for excluded children, are clearly unsatisfactory and may well contribute not to reducing but to perpetuating patterns of conduct disorder and anti-social behaviour," MPs say.

* A conference on child mental health in Scotland will be held in Glasgow on April 15-16. Details from ChildLine Scotland, 18 Albion Street, Glasgow G1 1LH.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today