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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 June 2007, 17:32 GMT 18:32 UK
Parents seek school webcam links
Teacher with pupils on PC
Parents want closer links with schools
Some parents would like a webcam link to their child's classroom to follow their progress, a study suggests.

One in four adults in a poll of 2,000 for the services website, Directgov, said they wanted an online alert if their child did not turn up for school.

In focus groups linked to a study on the future of online services, some parents even said they wanted transmitters fitted to their children.

The government said the findings showed people wanted to be more involved.

The survey, by ICM, asked parents to name the online services they would most like to have access to in the future.

Some of the most popular suggestions involved closer monitoring of their children's behaviour and lessons, and keeping track of them on their way to and from school.

Homework nightmare

Speaking in focus groups on the subject, some parents said they wanted to be able to play back video of lessons to help with homework.

One said: "I want to be able to see what exactly the kids have been taught.

"Trying to help them with their homework is a nightmare.

"If we could sit and watch a video of the lesson again that would be really helpful."

Other suggestions for services which could be provided online included being given access to a child's school disciplinary record and checking lesson times and lunch menus.

Some schools already use text message alerts to tell parents if their child does not arrive at school, something some of those questioned said they would like.

Jayne Nickalls, director of Directgov, said the survey findings would be taken into account when planning future online services.

"For parents, it seems that services which allow them to play more of an active role in their children's education - such as monitoring attendance and being more involved in what their children are learning - would be the most popular," she said.

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