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The Little Miss Perfects who can cause just as much trouble at school as Asbo-family kids.

Byline: By PAUL ROWLAND Western Mail

With bunches in her hair and impeccable vowels, you might imagine they are a schoolteacher's dream. But the children of well-heeled middle-class families have been dubbed the latest playground tyrants. It is not just the hoodie-wearing offspring of an Asbo-holding parent that have become the bane of the classroom. Teachers say the often spoilt children - dubbed Little Miss Perfects - used to being doted on by their parents can cause just as much trouble.

The little tyrants are described as being good at their schoolwork, generally complete homework assignments on time, and are among the social in-crowd. They wear designer clothes, with expensive haircuts, and are likely to have a television in their bedroom, according to the children's charity Kidscape.

The organisation's director, Michele Elliot, this week told MPs in the Education Select Committee that the lives of luxury of such children, and the tendency of their well-to-do parents to over-indulge them, mean they often have no respect for the authority of teachers, and are frequently among the main protagonists in playground bullying.

She said, 'In addition to children coming from homes where bullying is basically fostered, we have found a whole other group of bullies who come from homes where they are so indulged that they go to school and they are little gods.

'They think that everything revolves around them. We call them the brat bullies.

'They are spoilt and feel that the world basically owes them, and that other children should be as in awe of them as their families,' she said. 'They expect all the teachers and other kids to kowtow to them. If they don't, they start to bully the other children.

'The parents of these children are pretty difficult to deal with because they do not see the children in that situation.'

A Welsh teaching union last night warned that focusing too strongly on problems caused by children from 'so-called lower classes', meant the reign of terror conducted by the Little Miss Perfects often went under the radar.

Rhys Williams, of NUT Cymru, said, 'We tend to blame everything on the so-called lower classes, if I can use that old- fashioned term, but if you ask the teachers, the problem is often in what are dismissively referred to as 'the leafy suburbs'.

'There, you very often have the pushy, over-assertive parents, and those attitudes are reflected on the children.

'Spoilt children have always been with us. We should now resurrect the word spoilt to describe them, because essentially that's what they are. We talk now about 'overindulged children', but the fact is that they're spoilt. That's the old-fashioned word for it, and it describes them perfectly.

'Every whim they have had has been satisfied, and that treatment has had a harmful effect on them - they have spoiled them.' Mr Williams suggested the boom in technology available to some richer schoolchildren, such as mobile camera phones, had opened up new avenues for 'lording it' over fellow pupils. He added, 'I think human nature is consistent, but I think the means whereby children can be bullied, or can laud it over another child, have diversified. 'These days of expensive camera phones have given rise to new forms of bullying. 'In an increasingly materialistic society we have new ways of spoiling our children, but I don't think the root of it has changed.'
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:May 12, 2006
Words:561
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