Parents 'must not abdicate duties' to teachers

Wednesday 05th December 2018 04:33 EST

Parents should not expect schools to police children's eating and exercise, or toilet train pupils, Ofsted boss Amanda Spielman will say this week.

England's chief inspector for schools will argue the answer to the obesity crisis lies in the home, and parents should not "abdicate responsibility".

Neither can schools be a "panacea" for knife crime or child neglect, she will add in her second annual report.

Two studies have this year queried the benefit of school anti-obesity schemes.

In February, the British Medical Journal reported that a year-long anti-obesity programme involving more than 600 West Midlands primary school pupils yielded no improvements.

And in July an Ofsted study of 60 schools found no link between efforts to tackle obesity and pupils' weight.

Ms Spielman highlights concerns that - by the time they start primary school - almost a quarter of children in England are overweight or obese.

This rises to over a third by the time they move on to secondary school.

Ms Spielman will also argue that by expecting schools to tackle gang-related crime or child neglect, society risks not only distracting them from their core purpose but also failing to solve the problems.

Such complex matters need to be dealt with by those with the correct knowledge and expertise, she will argue.

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