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Frank Field wants Cameron to introduce parenting lessons

By Tim Montgomerie

FIELD FRANK 2 The News of the World reports that Labour MP Frank Field - appointed by the Coalition to make recommendations on fighting the underlying causes of poverty - is to suggest that lessons in parenting should be introduced to build "five star parents" of the future.

He may even suggest a formal exam at GCSE stage to help avoid another generation of failing parents. He suggests there are 800,000 families who have chaotic lives with huge consequences for the rest of society. “Our nation has fallen out of love with the art of being good parents," he tells the newspaper, "and we have to get back to that."

Mr Field's recommendation won't appeal to those Tories who want a looser national curriculum although he does say it should replace the much-criticised personal, social and health education segment of the syllabus. The Labour MP is undoubtedly right to draw attention to the huge deficit in parenting skills as one generation passes its dysfunctionality to another. This process largely occurs by imitation, however. It's not clear that a parenting class is the best way of addressing the very real problem. More targeted interventions might be more effective.


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