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EDITIONS
Thursday, 6 June, 2002, 23:08 GMT 00:08 UK
Unruly parents worse than pupils
David Hart
David Hart's speech will mark the end of the conference

Aggressive parents are more of a problem than their unruly children, say head teachers.

The annual conference of the National Association of Head Teachers is set to hear a condemnation of parents who will not accept that their children are in the wrong.

General secretary David Hart is set to warn that "bullying parents are a bigger threat to discipline and harmony than thuggish pupils".

"Pupil and parental behaviour deteriorates year on year," he will tell the conference.

And the speech will attack "a culture of bullying and intimidation in many urban schools, and levels of anxiety among pupils, that were horrendous".

Confrontation

When pupils are excluded, they are too often protected by parents and support groups who are turning "exclusion appeal hearings into quasi-judicial confrontations that would do credit to the Old Bailey".

The speech will also call for a 15bn injection into the state education sector over the next five years.

Mr Hart's words will come in the run-up to the government's comprehensive spending review next month, forming a clear message to the Chancellor and the Secretary of State for Education that the needs of the education world must be met.

"Ministers cannot ignore the suspicion in schools that education has dropped down the pecking order," he is expected to say.

Mr Hart believes state schools are getting better and better, but are being asked to compete on a "totally unfair basis".

"The fight for the middle classes hangs in the balance. They are still moving their children into the private sector, spurred on by smaller class sizes," he is expected to say.

Policies 'on the hoof'

The NAHT leader will also criticise the Department for Education for coming up with policies made up "on the hoof", instead of well thought out policies.

"We must avoid 'solutions' that have simply not been thought through or which have political, not educational merit."

He is also to raise concerns about the level of work such initiatives often put on head teachers and their staff.

The problems many head teachers experience in recruiting and retaining teachers are also likely to feature highly in Mr Hart's speech.

See also:

06 Jun 02 | Education
06 Jun 02 | Education
05 Jun 02 | Education
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