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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 June, 2004, 14:13 GMT 15:13 UK
Union wants pupils' parents fined
School generic
Nasuwt says unruly pupils cause great stress for teachers
A teaching union has called for parents of badly behaved pupils to be fined.

The National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) said urgent action is needed to restore order in classrooms.

The union's Scottish president, Ian Clydesdale, said teachers were prevented from doing their jobs by disruptive pupils.

A Scottish Executive spokesman said there were no plans to introduce fines for parents.

The NASUWT made the call as it prepared to publish plans at its executive council meeting this weekend to deal with disruption in the classroom.

Parents must be held accountable for the behaviour of their sons and daughters
Ian Clydesdale
Central to the strategy will be a "positive contract" between all partners in the education system to which parents will sign up for. It will include penalties for non-compliance.

Mr Clydesdale said: "Teachers are already highly trained but are being prevented in some schools from doing their jobs by anti-social pupils who seem hell bent on disrupting the tax-payer funded, state education system.

"Instead of a plethora of well-meaning, often experimental initiatives to tackle behaviour problems within schools - at further cost to the tax-payer - the problem needs to be tackled at source - in the home."

Mr Clydesdale said it was time to ensure parents were held "accountable".

He said: "And parents who fail to ensure their offspring can behave responsibly at school should bear the cost. It should not be left to taxpayers to pick up the tab."

'A ticking bomb'

He added that if the executive was serious about dealing with anti-social behaviour, then it must include school pupil behaviour in its legislative plans.

On the impact of the problem on his members, Mr Clydesdale said: "If pupils with a propensity for disruption are allowed into class, the level of stress and anxiety caused to teachers and to the well-behaved pupils in the same class is unacceptable.

"It can feel like working alongside a ticking bomb."

But an executive spokesman said: "We have no plans to introduce fines or contracts for parents.

"However, Education Minister Peter Peacock, has made clear that he wants parents to become more involved in their children's education.

"Schools must ensure that parents feel welcome in the school, providing better information so that parents can give their children good, practical support at home."

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