Letter: Crucial role of good parents

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your leading article "Defeating the class enemy" (24 April) makes a number of useful observations. There is, however, one crucial omission that will bring despair to many teachers - there is no reference to the crucial role that parents play in the behaviour of disruptive children.

This is not to say that Richard Wilding's parents bear any responsibility for his behaviour; that is not something you nor I are qualified to comment upon. However it is unfortunately true that in the majority of instances where a child is expelled from a school, parenting or, more exactly, lack of parenting has played a crucial role.

One of the problems of the "liberal conscience" and the present-day reality of two working parents is that few people are prepared to acknowledge the central role that parents play in a child's welfare and a child's behaviour.

Neglected, hurt, brutalised children behave badly. It is unjust that the teaching profession should, first of all be expected to pick up the pieces and crucially, where your leader is concerned, that no acknowledgement be made of the impossible role that teachers are forced to adopt.

Nigel Evans

London W4