A Government plan to improve the behaviour of unruly pupils by sending their parents to compulsory parenting classes has been a spectacular failure. Research for the Department for Education shows that not a single school or local authority has made use of the policy, which was introduced five years ago. Three-fifths of the country's local authorities have also shunned a scheme to draw up "good parenting contracts".
The research said headteachers were reluctant to use the powers because of "the negative impact on relationships with parents". Russell Hobby, of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: "Putting people under an order is not a way of getting them enthused about their schooling."