Court for parents?

NORTH Somerset parents may soon be hauled in front of magistrates if they and their children do not abide by school rules.

NORTH Somerset parents may soon be hauled in front of magistrates if they and their children do not abide by school rules.

From September, policies from each of the district's headteachers may be brought to the attention of families before they apply for a school place for their child.

Under the plans out for consultation, parents will be asked to agree to the behaviour rules for their youngster, as well as others such as ones on attendance and uniform, as part of the application process.

The Government scheme means that if mums and dads do not abide by some of the more important policies they have signed, they may end up having to appear in front of magistrates as a last resort.


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Officials could then make a parenting order forcing them to follow the rules.

Schools minister Diana Johnson said: "Standards of behaviour have improved over the past 10 years, with the number of schools where it is a significant concern at the lowest levels ever recorded.

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"We have the ambition that all schools should have a good or outstanding Ofsted rating on behaviour by 2012, or be on-track to reach one at their next inspection.

"Pupils, parents and staff share the responsibility for making sure that bad behaviour does not disrupt learning.

"To do this parents need a clear understanding of their child's school's expectations of them both.

"By clearly setting out the rules and expectations from the outset, everyone knows what they have to do."

The scheme is designed to help parents recognise the importance of complying with policies once the child has been accepted.

If it goes ahead, it would apply to applications for North Somerset school places made from this autumn.

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