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Education minister Stephen Twigg today announced the next phase in ...
Education minister Stephen Twigg today announced the next phase in

the government's drive to combat bad behaviour in schools and sent a

clear message of zero-tolerance to parents who attack or verbally

abuse teachers.

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

day one.

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).

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