Teachers must 'parent' failing pupils


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The Independent Online

Heads and teachers in the country's most disadvantaged schools should be "surrogate parents" so their pupils spend less time on difficult estates and with unsupportive parents, chief schools inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw said yesterday.

He told a conference of aspiring headteachers in London: "You're always trying to mitigate against society's failures. You must ensure you and your staff understand the need to become surrogate parents – working well beyond the school day, weekends and holiday periods to get them [pupils] to where they should be."

Sir Michael, chief executive of Ofsted, has had a confrontational relationship with the teaching profession since his appointment earlier this year, over proposals including the sacking of under-performing teachers and no-notice school inspections, which was later amended to give 24 hours' warning.

Yesterday, Sir Michael said heads needed to be tough enough to warn teachers whose performance was not up to scratch that they would be subjected to a pay freeze.

"There is nothing more infuriating than a really good teacher who goes the extra mile seeing somebody else getting the same pay rise as him for no effort," he told the conference organised by the Future Leaders project which trains aspiring senior teaching staff. His words come as Education Secretary Michael Gove is planning a radical shake-up to the teachers' pay structure.