the government's drive to combat bad behaviour in schools and sent a
clear message of zero-tolerance to parents who attack or verbally
At his former secondary school in Enfield, London, Mr Twigg unveiled
a new poster that will be made available to all schools. The new
poster, which head teachers can display prominently in their schools,
will warn parents that attacks on teachers and support staff will
result in removal from the school and potential prosecution. It is
similar to those displayed on London Underground and in some National
Health Service Accident and Emergency Units.
Mr Twigg also announced a new guide for head teachers that explains
clearly the various legal remedies schools can use against parents
who threaten teachers and support staff. Penalties include a #5,000
fine and up to six months' imprisonment.
Mr Twigg later joined the prime minister and education and skills
secretary Estelle Morris MP at a No.10 seminar with head teachers and
education practitioners to discuss the next steps in the drive to
tackle bad behaviour.
Mr Twigg said:
'There is no excuse for attacking or abusing a teacher. It is
unacceptable and we will not tolerate it in our schools. We will
fully support head teachers who take the tough decisions to deal with
parents who threaten the safety of their staff. This new poster will
help them improve school security.
'The vast majority of pupils and parents know that education is
vitally important and respect the teachers who can make such a
difference to young people's lives. But it's clear that the behaviour
of a small minority can undermine all the positive work that schools
are carrying out.
'As a government, we are totally committed to raising education
standards but this cannot be done in isolation. Parents have a duty
to set an example to their children and a responsibility to support
at home the work that teachers are doing at school.'
This Press Notice applies to England.
1. An overall package of£66m was announced on 29 April to
reduce street crime. It is targeted at the ten police force areas
which together account for over 80% of street crime. Each LEA has
been identified as a 'hot spot' on the basis of truancy and crime
This is in addition to:
2. Making over£600m available through the Standards Fund to help
schools and LEAS tackle bad behaviour and truancy.
3. Allocating£163m 2001-2002 to tackle truancy and exclusion,
including provision of full time education for excluded pupils from
4. Investing in electronic registration
5. Over 900 truancy sweeps carried out in over 80 LEAs during May
6. Over 300 Pupil Referral Units in England, and an expected 50 more
by September 2002.
7. Around 1,100 Learning Support Units now operating and over 3,600
learning mentors in post.
8. £15m available to schools to support citizenship and PSHE.
9. Improving attendance and behaviour for 13+ age group is a key
priority for 10 Connexions partnerships. Now more than 2,000 personal
advisers in post - a large proportion of whom are based in schools
10. The guide for schools is entitled: 'A legal toolkit for schools:
tackling abuse, threats and violence towards members of the school
community.' This and the poster will automatically be sent to all
LEAs but can also be ordered free from DfES publications on 0845 602
2260 (reference number DfES/0504/2002).