SCHOOL YOB PARENTS IN LINE OF FIRE.
EVERY parent is to be forced to sign a legal pledge that they will ensure their children behave in class.
Schools Secretary Ed Balls yesterday said new laws will be introduced this year covering the parents of every secondary school pupil.
He told the Mirror the move was aimed at the minority of parents who refuse to support teachers when their kids are put in detention, or hauled before the headmaster.
Mr Balls said: "Everyone needs to know what the deal is. We are going to back the large majority of parents and headteachers in keeping discipline in the classroom.
If the minority don't want to go along with that then we should be tough about that."
The new agreements will put millions of mums and dads at risk of court action if they fail to help schools maintain classroom discipline.
They will be similar to the existing homeschool agreements, which are currently used in only the most extreme cases.
But the new regime will also give every parent additional rights to take action if they see schools allowing pupils to get away with bad behaviour.
Mr Balls insisted good discipline was key to driving up educational standards.
He added: "I want to deliver what parents want - schools they can rely on, headteachers using the powers to enforce discipline in the classroom.
"But sometimes parents have got to take their responsibilities more seriously.
"We are going to be saying to parents that as their children go into secondary school, they will sign up to a behaviour agreement. Basically it says every pupil has got a responsibility to work hard and stick to the rules.
"Teachers have got a responsibility to be fair in the way they apply the rules and parents have got a responsibility to make sure they back teachers in applying the rules.
"Part of this is if their child needs to go to detention or needs to buck their ideas up then parents must play their part in making this happen."
Mr Balls sitting in his shirtsleeves in his Brighton hotel room also promised to push forward plans to give free school meals to every primary school child in England.
He has already ordered trial schemes of the free meals in the belief they will improve youngsters' health, concentration levels and behaviour. Mr Balls said the trials had proved a winner not only with kids, but parents too, as they were saving money on meals.
But he warned: "I need to be able to show that the money we are spending is delivering healthier kids, more concentration and better results."
CRACKDOWN Mr Balls at conference hotel yesterday
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|Publication:||The Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Sep 28, 2009|
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