“Probing” questionnaire for parents of children starting school

From lying to stealing and bullying, quiz asks personal details of family life

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Parents of 5-year-olds starting school have been sent an 83-point questionnaire that probes personal details of their lives, reports the Daily Mail. It asks parents whether their children tell lies or bully others, and if they steal at home or from shops.

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Mums and dads of children who haven’t even started school yet are asked whether their youngsters have friends, if they can speak freely with others in their family, and whether they eat takeaways.

Thousands of families in Lincolnshire were sent the questionnaire as part of trials of a ‘Healthy Child Programme’, and the Department of Health wants all families in England and Wales to complete them too.

The information will be held by the NHS databases for the use of health workers, and planners want new forms submitted each year to build up a detailed picture of the family and children’s development. The questionnaires aren’t compulsory, but parents who choose not to complete them may be visited by community nurses, who are looking to identify vulnerable families.

Dylan Sharpe, from the Big Brother Watch pressure group, said, “This is incredibly intrusive. The NHS Trust has failed to make it clear that this is a voluntary questionnaire. I would advise any parent receiving this to stick it straight in the bin.”

The Department of Health said, “Many local areas currently administer a questionnaire to parents as the basis for a review at school entry. It will be an additional tool to safeguard and support all children’s health and wellbeing.”

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What do you think of the questionnaire? Would you be willing to complete it before sending your child to school? Let us know below…

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