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Truants' parents face benefits cut

Parents of truanting youngsters face having their benefits cut, David Cameron warned as he pledged to "restore order and respect" in schools.

The Prime Minister insisted that parents should be held accountable for their children's naughty behaviour.

He said he has asked the Government's social policy review, which was announced in the wake of last month's riots, to look into whether the parents of children who constantly skip lessons should have their benefits cut.

In a speech focusing on education, Mr Cameron said that restoring discipline in schools is not just about giving teachers more powers to deal with unruly pupils, but "is also about what parents do".

"We need parents to have a real stake in the discipline of their children, to face real consequences if their children continually misbehave.

"That's why I have asked our social policy review to look into whether we should cut the benefits of those parents whose children constantly play truant.

"Yes, this would be a tough measure - but we urgently need to restore order and respect in the classroom and I don't want ideas like this to be off the table."

The speech at the newly opened Free School Norwich is part of a concerted effort to focus attention on education and discipline in schools.

As well as a crackdown on bad behaviour, Mr Cameron said he wants to bring "rigour" back into the classroom, saying: "Every year that passes without proper reform is another year that tens of thousands of teenagers leave school without the qualifications they really need."

He added: "The most important value we're bringing back to the classroom is a commitment to rigour. Rigorous subjects, tested in a rigorous way."


From Belfast Telegraph