Schools: Discipline

House of Lords written question – answered on 9th July 2014.

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Photo of Lord Quirk Lord Quirk Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the need for parents to take responsibility for children's behaviour in schools.

Photo of Lord Nash Lord Nash The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

It is vital that teachers have the support and respect of parents to manage pupil behaviour so they can teach in an orderly environment. Good schools recognise the importance of engaging parents and have developed their own approaches according to the particular circumstances of the school.

In response to a question about what teachers viewed as the most common factors causing poor behaviour in schools, excluding special educational needs and other medical factors, 72% considered ‘lack of parental support or poor parenting skills’ as the most common factor causing poor behaviour, and ‘parental lack of respect for teachers and authority’ was the second most frequently selected factor.

We are aware of research, including that based on data from the National Child Development Study, that shows that parental involvement has a positive effect on children’s achievement even when the influence of background factors such as social class and family size have been taken into account.

The 2013 National Foundation for Educational Research (NfER) Teacher Voice Survey, commissioned by the Department for Education, found that 55% of teachers surveyed agreed that parents generally respected a teacher’s authority to discipline pupils.

In March 2014, we published a series of case studies on behaviour and bullying, which include examples of what good schools are doing to engage parents in a spirit of openness and shared responsibility. These case studies contain examples of the work good schools do with parents to encourage participation of hard-to-reach groups and are published online at:

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