School is a safe place, parents believe

25th January 2008 at 00:00
The results of a survey obtained by The TES reveal that nine out of 10 parents believe their child is safe at school.

The findings, from a telephone poll of 501 parents in England and Wales by the National Confederation of Parent Teacher Associations (NCPTA), come in a week when Home Secretary Jacqui Smith called for airport-style metal detectors to be erected in English schools to combat knife attacks.

Only three of the parents surveyed said they were worried about knife or gun crime.

Teachers also responded negatively to the Westminster government's plans to tighten school security, saying they preferred a less confrontational approach.

Sally Coates, head of Sacred Heart RC School in South London, said the placing of the proposed security arches at school gates was not the answer, despite the alleged stabbing of one of her pupils.

The 13-year-old girl was attacked outside the school last week with what is believed to be a craft knife. She suffered minor stab wounds and a 14-year-old boy is now on police bail pending further enquiries.

Ms Coates said: "I am concerned about the media perpetuating this myth of gang violence on the ground here. It's almost creating a self-fulfilling prophecy."

The NCPTA survey found the main parental concern was bad behaviour in lessons disrupting their child's learning. Nearly half claimed their child had been bullied at school, but 62 per cent felt the school was doing enough to deter bullying.

Overall, most parents - 73 per cent - were satisfied with their child's education.

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