BBC News Parents Get "licence to complain"
The Government seems to add a new education initiative every few days (even in this year's 7 week holiday!). Mostly they are harmless or ignored, sometimes even good ideas but sometimes a really bad and dangerous idea is suggested that has the potential to cause real harm to vulnerable children.
Ed Balls suggests that by making Schools have home School Agreements (if they want them or not) and then effectively forcing parents to sign them (even if they disagree with them) it will then allow other parents to complain about the behaviour of someone else's child and have the agreement "enforced" against that child's parents.
Apparently parents can then complain to the LA if they don't feel the School has done this properly. Really? What about Acadamies and countless other kinds of Schools this Government has set up to avoid the LA having any say!?
This is a really ill-thought out plan even by the standards of Ed Balls and this Government. Not only should Ed Balls be made to go back to School and learn what the word "agreement" means but he should also consider how his plans could in fact be used to allow parents to bully a School into treating what might well be an already vulnerable child badly to placate other parents.
If it were as simple as just making the parents appear before a Magistrate then that would be fine but many badly behaved children come from difficult families and might already have been failed by their own parents as well as the State. Encouraging this kind of complaint will just make a bad situation worse and vulnerable children will suffer.
And another thing, if the School fails in its side of the "agreement" can I go to the Magistrates Court and ask for a warrant against the Head? Thought not. It would be silly if I could and equally nonsensical for Courts to be used in this way against parents who might quite legitimately disagree with some parts of the "agreement".