Head teachers’ association chief demands respect from parents and pupils

Parents and children must agree to respect teachers and support
staff and follow school rules if rising levels of disruptive
behaviour are to be brought under control, the general secretary of
the National Association of Head Teachers has warned.

Speaking at NAHT’s annual conference in Telford earlier
this week, David Hart said there were minimum standards on
behaviour and the treatment of others that all parents and pupils
should be expected to sign up to.

As well as protecting staff, this would also ensure other pupils
the right to lessons free from disruption, Hart said.

“Head after head tells me that poor behaviour by pupils is
on the increase,” he said. “Of course, I recognise that
poor teaching, poor classroom control and a poor curriculum can
make their own contributions to boredom and disruption. But by far
and away the greatest problem is the number of pupils who lack
basic social standards.”

Hart went on to suggest that many school governing boards were
too large and should be slimmed down, with only one seat being set
aside for parents. Under current rules, governing bodies can have
as many as 20 governors, more than a third of whom can be

“In answer to those who would push for more parents, I
would assert that parent governors often do not speak for all
parents,” Hart said. “Most parents are understandably
more interested in the needs of their own children. An advisory
council, elected by the parent, might well produce a more effective
parental body.”

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