Parents abuse teachers online when their child gets told off, MP warns
‘Pushy parents’ are driving teachers out of their jobs by abusing them on social media when their children get told off, MP warns
- Damian Hinds warns of parents targeting teachers who discipline their children
- Education Secretary warns of teachers being cyber bullied by pupils and parents
- He has launched a new £10million project to banish bad behaviour in schools
- From next year mentor schools will provide advice on issues including detention
Pushy parents are driving teachers out of their jobs by ranting on social media when their children get told off, the Education Secretary has warned.
Damian Hinds said that while the vast majority of families back schools, a minority are launching online campaigns against teachers when they disagree with discipline policies.
He revealed that he plans to update guidance for heads and teachers on what to do when they are ‘cyber-bullied’ by parents and pupils.
Education Secretary Damian Hinds said he recently met a group of children who told him the thing they most wanted to change about their school was that there were ‘other kids in the class that have come not ready and are not wanting to learn’ [File photo]
He told the conference of the NAHT school leaders’ union: ‘Teachers and leaders should not be subject to online abuse simply for doing their jobs.’ He also said social media companies had a role in protecting victims.
Speaking earlier to the Daily Mail, he said ‘it used to be that if you were in trouble at school you were in trouble at home’.
He added: ‘That’s still true in lots of cases but there is this minority. In the very worst cases – and I do stress this is a tiny minority – social media then comes into play.
‘Social media changes everything. It does concern me greatly because I want to attract and retain the very best people into teaching. I don’t want there to be any untoward thing that makes that profession less attractive.’
Some parents were also quick to phone or email schools, ‘very ready sometimes… to be over-challenging of what schools are doing’.
Mr Hinds warned: ‘School teachers are in charge of schools and it’s really important for good discipline, good behaviour, that everybody knows where they stand.
‘These cases are a small minority of parents, but it would be crazy to say there isn’t that problem. With some families there is a much quicker willingness… to say, “Why are you taking this action against my child?”.’
He said that ‘for teachers who are considering leaving the profession, behaviour is one of the key things that is part of that consideration’. He added: ‘When you ask parents and grandparents, what is it about the school system that they… care about most, behaviour comes out really high.
‘And one of the reasons for that is, it’s what they are hearing from their children.’
Damian Hinds said that while the vast majority of families back schools, a minority are launching online campaigns against teachers when they disagree with discipline policies [File photo]
Mr Hinds said he recently met a group of children who told him the thing they most wanted to change about their school was that there were ‘other kids in the class that have come not ready and are not wanting to learn’.
He was speaking before the launch today of a new £10million project to banish bad behaviour in schools. It will create a network of head teachers who have a track record on improving discipline to provide ‘bespoke support’ for other schools.
From next year mentor schools will provide advice on issues including detention and ‘sanction and reward mechanisms’.
More than 82 per cent of parents consider good discipline in the class a key factor when choosing a school for their child, according to research. However, more than a third of schools are currently judged as not having good enough behaviour by Ofsted.
Mr Hinds, 49, a father of three, said children were most likely to reach their academic potential if they have ‘clear boundaries where everyone has mutual respect for each other’.
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