Ofsted chief, Amanda Spielman, has gone on record to claim that expectations on teachers are distracting them from their core purpose.
Amanda Spielman, the current Ofsted chief, believes parents should not expect schools to provide solutions to childhood problems, such as obesity and knife crime.
The Ofsted report is to be presented tomorrow, Dec 4, and it states that schools cannot be a remedy for all ‘society ills’.
The Ofsted chief believes that health professionals, parents and safeguarding partners should all play a role in protecting and educating children in preparation for adult life.
‘Our education and care services don’t exist in isolation from the local areas they serve,’ the Ofsted chief is expected to say.
‘They are and should be a central part of our communities.
‘But being part of a community means being very clear what your responsibilities are, and what issues, however worthy, can only be tackled beyond the school, college or nursery gates.’
The Ofsted chief believes that expectations on schools to address obesity, child neglect and gang-related violence risks distracting them from their core purpose, to teach.
She is due to add: ‘Most of our schools are safe, and we fully support measures, including zero tolerance policies on the carrying of knives, to keep them that way.’
‘But beyond that, while schools can play a role in educating young people about the danger of knives, they cannot be a panacea for this particular societal ill.’
In addition, the Ofsted chief will also draw attention to the growing problem of obesity among young people.
The report further highlights that almost a quarter of children in England are overweight or obese by the start of primary school,.
This stark figure rises to over a third by the time they leave Year 6.
The Ofsted chief also wants to challenge the ‘lazy solution’ of placing the responsibility on schools.
According to Ofsted research, there is ‘no discernible link’ between school interventions and obesity rates.
‘It is an issue which sits largely beyond the school gates,’ the Ofsted chief will argue.
She will go on to say that schools can and should teach children about the importance of healthy eating and exercise in line with their core purpose; their PE lessons should get them out of breath.
Before adding: ‘But beyond that, schools cannot take over the role of health professionals – and above all parents.
‘The answer to the obesity crisis, particularly among younger children, lies in the home, and parents should not abdicate their responsibility here.’
In a further challenge to parents, the Ofsted chief will say there is growing evidence of children arriving at reception unable to use the toilet.
As Ofsted chief she recognises that this is not only difficult for teachers but also disruptive for other children. Plus it has a terrible social impact on the children affected. ‘This is wrong,’ she will argue.
‘Toilet training is the role of parents and carers and should not be left to schools. Only in the most extreme cases should parents be excused from this most basic of parenting tasks.’