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Sir Wilshaw: Headteachers should fine bad parents

The chief inspector of schools has spoken of his experiences as a head teacher in London's inner-city schools saying he told people if he thought they were a "poor parents."

The chief inspector of schools Sir Michael Wilshaw. Credit: PA

In an interview with The Times, Sir Michael Wilshaw said: "I was absolutely clear with parents; if they weren't doing a good job I would tell them so. It's up to head teachers to say quite clearly, 'You're a poor parent'.

"If parents didn't come into school, didn't come to parents' evening, didn't read with their children, didn't ensure they did their homework, I would tell them they were bad parents.

"I think head teachers should have the power to fine them."

Inspector: 'Teachers should confront bad parents'

"Bad parents" should be confronted by teachers while headteachers should be given powers to fine mothers and fathers who fail to support their children's education, the chief inspector of schools has said.

Chief inspector of schools says 'teachers should confront bad parents' Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Sir Michael Wilshaw called for head teachers to be given the authority to impose financial penalties on parents who allow homework to be left undone, miss parents' evenings or fail to read with their children.

The head of the schools watchdog Ofsted also told The Times that poverty was too often used as an excuse for educational failure among white working-class families, whose children were often out-performed by those from immigrant communities.

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Fathers 'paid more by age of 40' according to study

Men with children earn almost a fifth more than their childless counterparts by the age of 40, according to a think-tank study. The IPPR said the "fatherhood pay bonus" had increased over recent decades but that women who gave birth at an early age were tending to end up worse off than before.

Researchers compared the fortunes of men and women born in 1958 and 1970 as part of a project to assess the impact of feminism on working life in the UK.

They found that younger mothers suffered less of difference in earnings than their own mothers' generation by the time they reached the age of 40, down 11 per cent instead of 14 points.

Antenatal depression can be 'very difficult for parents'

Sally Russell, co-founder of Netmums, who jointly founded the report, said antenatal depression can make it very difficult for parents.

Depression and anxiety can be common in pregnancy, sometimes making life very difficult for both the parents and new baby. Midwives can do a lot to help and reassure, so should be open with mothers and fathers-to-be about the condition and trained to spot the signs.

Those suffering often don't know who to talk to, so it's essential they know they can be open and honest about how they are feeling with midwives.

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The effects of binge-drinking by parents

The misuse of alcohol by parents negatively affects the lives and harms the wellbeing of more children than does the misuse of illegal drugs, the report found.

The effects of parents alcohol misuse on children may be hidden for years, whilst children try both to cope with the impact on them, and manage the consequences for their families.

It does not concern only child protection professionals, though alcohol abuse can put children's safety at sustained, serious risk.

The problem affects large numbers of children who never come to the notice of children's social care, the Office of the Children's Commissioner (OCC) has said.

Govt 'must tackle family alcohol abuse'

The earlier that help is given to vulnerable children and families, the more chance there is of turning lives around and protecting children.

Our reforms are focused on cutting unnecessary bureaucracy so professionals can identify and tackle problems as early as possible.

By overhauling the alcohol licensing laws, local communities will have more power to tackle problem pubs and clubs.

We are working with the alcohol industry which has pledged to take one billion units out of the UK's alcohol intake and introduce a minimum unit price."

– A Government spokesman

One fifth of children 'living with hazardous drinkers'

  • 1 in 3 of children live with at least one parent who is a binge drinker (between 3.3 - 3.5 million children).
  • A fifth live a hazardous drinker (over 2.5 million children).
  • Around 79,000 babies aged under 1 years old in England are living with a parent who is classified as a prolematic drinker.
  • Around 26,000 babies under 1 in England are livign with a parent who would be classified as a dependent drinker.
  • Binge drinking: Six or more drinks on a single occasion for women; eight for men.
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