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Parent contract should 'avoid blame culture'

28/07/2009 Joanna
Ensuring parents take responsibility for their children's education is important but local authorities and those in teaching jobs should avoid alienating families.

A spokesperson for the Association of Teachers and Lecturers said that when enforcing parent-school agreements authorities should be careful not to "create a wedge between parents and schools".

Children whose parents are least-involved in their education do tend to perform worse, she added, but this should not contribute to a "blame culture".

Home School Agreements were originally introduced as part of the government's 21st Century Schools programme.

Under the agreements parents can be fined up to £100 if their child is missing school regularly, according to the Directgov website.

If a child is not enrolled at a local school and parents have not made suitable alternative arrangements then a school attendance order may also be issued.

Other aspects of the programme include encouraging schools to offer extended services offering parenting advice and support.

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