School duties

In a speech clearly composed with more than half an eye to the election, the new education secretary, Ruth Kelly, will please parents by offering the prospect of easier admission to popular schools. Oversubscribed schools, she will say, should have the right to expand. That right could be contained in Labour's manifesto. What Ms Kelly should also say, but probably will not, is that parents have obligations, too, and that these should not stop at scrutinising the league tables and securing admission for their child. They also have a duty to support the school and its teachers - even when it is their child who is disciplined.

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