Now that ministers are giddy about family involvement in education, inspection body Ofsted should consider a radical proposal suggested by one teacher: short-notice inspections on parents.
The idea was put forward on the TES online staffroom by "vmark", a primary supply teacher. Under the system, inspectors would give only three days' warning before visiting parents' homes, where they would check what time the child went to bed, what educational activities were provided and a range of other details such as the age-appropriateness of their toys.
Teachers were divided over the proposal, some relishing the prospect of parents having to fill in lengthy self-assessment forms.
"The best bit would be them having to provide some proof that their children had made progress," one said. But others suggested that parents would quickly learn to cheat the system.
One said: "Of course, if parents are given notice, they could do what schools do and only show the clever, good child, who is,doing something interesting and in 10-minute bite-sized chunks ... ".