Involving fathers more

Interviewed by the TES (Times Educational Supplement) about Dads and Doughnuts. I told them about some of the schemes in America, with each school adapting the basic idea (getting fathers directly involved with their children rather than just working through mothers) to its needs – from breakfast clubs for dads and their kids through to getting fathers to read stories to their offspring.

Talking to people this week, it is quite clear that even where schools have a policy on paper of contacting both parents it isn’t always happening in reality. A journalist rang me this morning to say his experience, despite giving his details to the school, was that they never contacted him – contact was always through the mother. However, one of my colleagues, Paul Holmes (MP for Chesterfield) says that it is policy in his area to automatically contact both parents. So – there is some good practice in place which we can work to expand.

My next step is to contact the local head teachers in my constituency to see what they do in terms of contact and how it works out. And if you’ve got feedback from your own school – do let me know too.

We’ll see where we can push with this one – as it clearly is resonating to a great degree. Now we need some facts, some debate and a way forward.

(For the background to the whole issue, read my speech from last week).