Schools forced to act as surrogate parents, says new Ofsted head

New Ofsted chief claims schools are “surrogate families” as parents fail to bring up their children properly

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Schools are stepping in to offer children the help and advice their parents are failing to provide, according to the new head of Ofsted. New chief Sir Michael Wilshaw has claimed that school staff are acting as “surrogate parents” well “beyond the school day”.

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The comments come just weeks after it was announced that the government would be offering free parenting classes and amidst post-riot discussions on the state of Britain’s youth and education.

“Often children come from homes that are dysfunctional, where parents may love their children but not be able to support them for a variety of reasons, where there are problems with gang culture,” Sir Michael explained.

“Schools take on a parenting role,” the Ofsted chief said in an interview with the Evening Standard. “We become surrogate parents for a lot of our children, and that means working with them beyond the school day well into the evening.

“We end up giving them an evening meal, mentoring, supporting them in a way that a family would do,” Sir Michael added, suggesting schools should be on a “mission” to boost these children’s self-confidence and learning.

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