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Report calls for benefits withdrawal for parents of disruptive pupils

12/09/2011 Joanna
Parents who reject assistance from schools regarding their disruptive or violent children should have welfare payments or child benefit removed under plans outlined in a report launched in London today (September 12th).

The report - No Excuses: A review of educational exclusion - urges the government to compel "parents to face up to their responsibility" in the wake of startling exclusion statistics.

Published by the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), the study claims there has been a "profound failure" when it comes to classroom discipline measures and argues for "radical reform on exclusion".

Permanent exclusions are at nearly 6,000 a year while annually there are over 330,000 suspensions in the UK.

According to the report, violent assaults, disruptive behaviour and verbal abuse account for the majority of exclusions.

Gavin Poole, CSJ executive director, told The Telegraph: "In some cases there is a core of parents simply refusing to engage with the school and in their child’s education.

"If support is being offered and parents are still refusing to co-operate compelling parents to get involved could include a wide range of sanctions, such as loss of child benefit payments or welfare benefits."

The CSJ study also noted that "the extent to which pupils in some of our schools are feeling unsafe and the impact that weapon-carrying street gang activity and conflict is having on their behaviour is staggering".

The head of one primary referral unit told the CSJ of instances in which pupils as young as seven were sent to the unit for having brought knives into their primary school.

The number of pupils taught outside mainstream education and in referral units has doubled in the past decade, according to the study. A place in a referral unit costs £18,000 a year in comparison with £4,000 at a regular secondary school.

In a speech last week, prime minister David Cameron said that parents should face penalties if they fail to prevent their children playing truant from school.

Posted by Tim ColmanADNFCR-2164-ID-800725914-ADNFCR
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