Extension for parents' contracts at schools

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The Independent Online
CONTRACTS between parents and schools are to be extended to schools throughout England, John Patten, Secretary of State for Education, disclosed last night, writes Donald MacLeod.

Parents will be asked to ensure that their child arrives at school on time after a proper breakfast and also to act if their child is involved in bullying or truancy. Children should also be 'properly turned out' and have homework ready to hand in.

Contracts have been tried out in several schools and are Labour Party policy. Mr Patten said that some parents were failing in their responsibilities and making the lives of teachers difficult. 'The time has come to ensure that all parents fulfil their side of the bargain. I will shortly be coming forward with proposals to encourage extension of the use of home- school contracts,' he said.

Mr Patten said he was responding to headteachers' demands for parents' responsibilities to be spelt out. 'It is not good enough to dismiss bad behaviour in the classroom as a problem for the school alone to deal with. Teachers have a right to expect co-operation from parents.'

The National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers yesterday confirmed that it would boycott preparation of national curriculum tests from next week after a recent ballot.