Education Bill

Memorandum submitted by Beth Worrall and Adrian Skilbeck (E 53)

Background

Beth Worrall – mother of 2 children, aged 13 and 15. One attends an Academy in London, the other attends a Voluntary Aided Church of England School. School governor for 13 years until 2010, including several years as Chair of Governors. Works full time and studying part time for an MA.

Adrian Skilbeck – father of above children. Has been a teacher for 16 years, in both the state and independent sector. Currently applying to study for a doctorate with the Institute of Education, to start in September 2011.

To the Public Bill Committee – Education Bill:

We are extremely concerned about the provision in the Education Bill for no-notice detentions.

We urge you to recommend that this provision be deleted from the Bill for the following reasons:

- it runs counter to the spirit of schools and parents working in partnership and risks alienating those parents who otherwise have a good relationship with the school and support the balanced implementation of discipline policies.

- older children who may not usually go straight home from school would be able to go to a detention without their parents knowing that it had been imposed, preventing parents from using a valuable opportunity to address the problem with the child and reinforce the school’s message.

- it may have a detrimental effect on children with caring responsibilities within the home which the school, for whatever reason, may not be aware of.

- it may have a detrimental effect if the child has to collect younger siblings from school.

- parents/carers may experience anxiety if children do not arrive home at the expected time, and may well make unnecessary calls to the police, etc.

- parents would be unable to cancel any pre-arranged dental and medical appointments.

- it may have a detrimental effect on children in rural areas with limited transport home.

Whilst we agree that it is important for teachers to be supported in their work we are convinced that the disadvantages of this measure strongly outweigh any benefits.

March 2011