Parental supervision: the views and experiences of young
people and their parents
Stephanie Stace and Debi Roker
National Children’s Bureau 2005
Summary published by the Joseph Rowntree
Mothers see it as a key part of their job as parents to monitor
and supervise how and where their older children spend their time,
although they find the responsibility very time-consuming and
A research study by the Trust for the Study of Adolescence
investigated the views and practice of parents who were involved in
the supervision of children aged 11 to 16. It aimed to establish
the context of recent government attempts to compel parents of
young offenders and young people who display antisocial behaviour
to supervise their children more closely.
Parents supervised their children and monitored their
whereabouts in various ways including asking for information,
setting rules, and checking up. Young people who felt able to talk
to their parents generally were more likely to tell them where they
were going and what they were doing, and those who felt trusted and
respected by their parents said they would not want to betray that
Both parents and young people saw the purpose of parental
monitoring as keeping children safe and out of trouble, but parents
were aware that their children had less freedom than they
themselves had as children.
They felt this was because children today were at greater risk,
and so needed closer monitoring, although this was influenced by
the child’s age and personality too.
Mothers bore most of the responsibility for monitoring
children’s whereabouts, in both single and two-parent families, but
other family members and friends also played a part, including the
parents of their children’s friends.
Most parents in the study said they treated sons and daughters
differently when it came to supervision, and young people were also
aware that boys had more freedom than girls. Some girls questioned
whether they were in fact at greater risk than boys.
They accepted they may be more likely to be attacked by
strangers but pointed out that boys were more likely to get into
Teenage mothers and young people with special needs:
evidence from the education maintenance allowance pilots
Kim Perren and Sue Middleton
New information about young women who are already parents or
who are pregnant when they finish compulsory education at age 16 is
published in this study.
A sample of 95 young mothers and 93 young women who were
pregnant showed that both had high rates of truancy, and a quarter
had been excluded from school.
Four out of 10 of the young mothers had been accused of bullying
while they were in year 11 at school, and the same proportion had
left school with no GCSEs at any grade.
Nearly all the young mothers and pregnant teenagers were not in
education, employment or training in the months following the end
of compulsory education.
But the data shows that two-thirds of the young mothers and
pregnant teenagers had hoped to remain in education after year 11,
and three-quarters believed that qualifications were necessary for
any job that was worth having.
Half the young mothers and two-fifths of the pregnant girls said
they hoped to be in full-time education within a year.
The data on young people with special educational needs or who
were disabled indicate that a third of the disabled young people
and one in 10 of those with special needs had achieved five or more
GCSEs at grades A to C. Nearly a quarter of young people with
special needs had not achieved any qualification when they left
school and this rose to a more than a third among those who were
both disabled and had special needs.