Commenting on a recommendation by Charlie Taylor, the Government’s Expert Adviser on Behaviour, that parents of children in England who persistently truant should have their child benefit cut, Philip Parkin, General Secretary of Voice: the union for education professionals, said:
“I am very uncomfortable with the idea of cutting child benefit, which is there to help parents pay for their children’s upkeep and support their needs. Cutting the benefit ultimately punishes the children rather than the parents.
“Many parents of persistent truants are on low incomes so reducing that income will only serve to destabilise further already dysfunctional families.
“The recommendation in the report that academy chains, sponsors and individual schools should be allowed to prosecute their pupils’ parents for poor attendance could increase tension and strife between schools and parents, rather than build bridges, and distract from the normal running of the school.
“I am not convinced that fines work in changing the behaviour of parents.
“I would rather see some form of compulsory parenting classes to address the behaviour of both parents and pupils, along the lines of speed awareness courses offered to some speeding motorists instead of a fine or penalty points.”
Contacts: Voice Press Office (email@example.com) on 01332 372337 or 0794 871 0413 or General Secretary Philip Parkin (firstname.lastname@example.org) on 01332 372 337 or 077 259 601 32.
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