Parents expected to sign behaviour agreement

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Parents will be expected to sign up to school behaviour policies when they apply for a school place under new proposals from this autumn.
Proposed changes mean schools’ policies will be brought to the attention of parents before they apply for a place. Under the plans out for consultation, parents will also be asked to agree to the behaviour policy, amongst other policies such as attendance and uniform, as part of the application process.

It comes in the midst of claims from teachers that some parents are abdicating their responsibility by refusing to set clear boundaries for their sons and daughters. Last year, teachers claimed that over-indulgent parents were creating a culture of disrespect by spoiling their children at home.

The measures will apply to applications for school places made from this autumn, and will help parents recognise the importance of complying with a school’s policies once the child has been admitted.

Schools Minister, Diana Johnson, said: " “Pupils, parents and staff share the responsibility for making sure that bad behaviour does not disrupt learning and that children are able to learn. To do this parents need a clear understanding of their child’s school’s expectations of them and of their child. So by clearly setting out the rules and expectations from the outset, everyone knows what they have to do.

"Bad behaviour is not acceptable in our schools full stop. That's why we’ve given teachers the powers they need to ensure strong discipline in the classroom.”

Under the rules, parents will be presented with school policies on behaviour, attendance and uniform - setting out minimum standards children must abide by - when they apply for a school. Parents will be asked to tick a box agreeing they have read and understood the rules.
However, the Government admitted that it could not force parents to sign up to the documents. Schools are also not allowed to refuse entry to a pupil whose mother or father has refused.

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