01/07/2009 05:45 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Parents Face Fines For Children Who Behave Badly At School

Parents of children who behave badly in the classroom could face court action, it has been reported this week.

My first reaction to this is "Good".

My grasp of several school subjects is a bit dodgy due to the lessons being complete mayhem.

Many classes were more like a chimpanzee's tea party while I vividly recall one lesson when one of the more "badly-behaved" students attempted to set fire to the curtains in the drama studio.

And this was just at a comprehensive in a Midlands county -- not on a deprived inner-city estate.

But the kids who caused chaos in the classroom hardly ever seemed to be disciplined at all. Perhaps because the teachers knew it would have no effect.

The Observer now reports that court-backed parenting orders could be imposed on families who won't cooperate with teachers over disciplining their children.

This could force parents to take parenting courses or counselling sessions, or require them to ensure their children are home at a certain time.

Parents could be fined or given a community sentence if they fail to comply with the parenting orders.

Teachers' leaders have said this should be a last resort. And if bad behaviour is the result of learning difficulties or other genuine problems then these must be addressed first.

But I agree with children's secretary Ed Balls when he says parents want to know discipline will be fairly enforced in all families.

He told the Observer: "What parents want to know is that in their school their child will learn and will not be disrupted, and if there's disruption there will be action and it will be sorted out."

However, it's all very well saying the right things. I wonder if this will actually work in practice. It all depends on how individual schools use the system.

If they are already good at handling unruly students, this is probably an unnecessary gimmick. If they aren't, they probably won't be able to make this work either.

Do you think parents should be fined if their children behave badly in class? Or will this just alienate parents further?

Source: The Observer