Ofsted head Sir Michael Wilshaw: Give headteachers power to fine 'bad' parents

Mr Wilshaw says levy should be imposed on parents who fail to turn up to parents evening or on those who don't enforce homework

Headteachers should be able to fine absent and “bad” parents, the head of Ofsted has said.

Sir Michael Wilshaw, who has been in the post since January 2012, said that mothers and fathers should face repercussions for not doing enough to help their offspring’s education.

He also said that children from migrant families were out-performing white, working-class ones, due to a lack of deeply entrenched beliefs that doing well in school is necessary - which he says is evident in the former.

Speaking to The Times about his 26-year-tenure as headteacher in London’s inner-city secondary schools, he said: “I was absolutely clear with parents; if they weren't doing a good job I would tell them so. It's up to head teachers to say quite clearly, 'You're a poor parent'.

“If parents didn't come into school, didn't come to parents' evening, didn't read with their children, didn't ensure they did their homework, I would tell them they were bad parents.

“I think head teachers should have the power to fine them. It's sending the message that you are responsible for your children no matter how poor you are.”

Mr Wilshaw, also known as Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, has worked in schools for 43 years as either a teacher or headmaster. Most recently he was the executive principle at Mossbourne Community Academy in Hackney.

He praised the capital for proving that children from poorer backgrounds can do just as well as those who are better off, in comparison with the “variability and inconsistency” across the rest of the country.

“Immigrant communities are doing very well educationally and it should be recognised that they've added value to this country's performance,” he said.

With white British children now doing worst of all, he said, more needed to be done to close the gap.

Criticising some parents for using lack of money as an excuse, the head of the schools watchdog said: “It's not about income or poverty. Where families believe in education they do well. If they love their children they should support them in schools.”

Mr Wilshaw’s comments come ten days after it was revealed that Education Secretary Michael Gove would like tougher sanctions on parents who fail to make sure their truanting child turns up to school on time.

The government minister said he will condemn those who oppose his controversial reforms as not believing that working class children are “intellectually curious and capable of greatness.”

Malcolm Trobe, deputy general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, told the BBC that "confrontation rarely leads to a positive outcome."

He said that it's reasonable to challenge parents, but that "it's very important that schools engage with their community and with the parent body and they are very aware of the need to do this."

He also implored Sir Michael to "let us get on with the job."

"We're told head teachers have autonomy and then we're told what we should be doing.

"We're getting repeated messages from government and Ofsted telling us what we should be doing.

"Perhaps we should say to Sir Michael, if he believes in autonomy, then let us get on with the job."

News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
peopleReports that Brand could stand for Mayor on an 'anti-politics' ticket
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
News
Voluminous silk drawers were worn by Queen Victoria
newsThe silk underwear is part of a growing trade in celebrity smalls
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Candidates with surnames that start with an A have an electoral advantage
newsVoters are biased towards names with letters near start of alphabet
Arts and Entertainment
Isis with Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jay James
TVReview: Performances were stale and cheesier than a chunk of Blue Stilton left out for a month
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Senior Research Fellow in Gender, Food and Resilient Communities

£47,334 - £59,058 per annum: Coventry University: The Centre for Agroecology, ...

Senior Research Fellow in Water and Resilient communities

£47,334 - £59,058 per annum: Coventry University: Our team of leading academic...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£60 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Special Needs Teaching Assistants...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?