Parents of kids who bunk off school should have benefits docked, Michael Gove says | The Sun

PARENTS of kids who play hooky should have their benefits docked, Michael Gove said today.

The Levelling Up Secretary suggested households with regular truants should see child benefit payments stopped.

Mr Gove had previously attempted to bring the policy forward under the Coalition government however it was blocked by the Liberal Democrats.

Speaking at the Onward centre-right think tank, he suggested that it could now be re-considered as part of a drive to restore "an ethic of responsibility".

"We need to – particularly after Covid – get back to an absolute rigorous focus on school attendance, on supporting children to be in school," Mr Gove said.

"It is often the case that it is truanting or persistent absenteeism that leads to involvement in anti-social behaviour.

Most read in News


Cops hunting for Constance’s baby find child’s ear muffs after searching bins


Moment naked Charles Bronson attacks FIFTEEN riot squad prison guards


Mystery as body of man pulled from river with dumbbells tied to his wrists


Cops give major update on search for baby after temperature plunged to 1C

"So one of the ideas that we floated in the coalition years, which the Liberal Democrats rejected, is the idea that if children are persistently absent then child benefit should be stopped.

"I think what we do need to do is to think radically about restoring an ethic of responsibility."

But angry teaching unions hit back at the idea, suggesting it would do little to tackle the root of the problem – namely child poverty.

Paul Whitman, general secretary of the NAHT school leaders' union, said: "Not only is this wrong, it is also likely to be counter-productive. It is very hard to see how consigning children to poverty and starvation will improve their school attendance.


Gin lovers are paying huge 70% tax on a bottle – but just 3 per cent realise

PM steps up Brexit deal sales pitch & says it will go ahead WITHOUT DUP

"School staff are already deeply concerned by how many children are living in poverty and the impact that has on their academic performance and wellbeing.

Persistent absence can only be successfully tackled by offering help, not punishment."

Elsewhere in his speech Mr Gove launched a sustained attack on so-called social justice warriors for trying to destroy the country.

He refused to use the world "woke", as he said it excused dangerous behaviour.

He hit out: "This movement is often described as “woke” activism. I dislike the use of the word woke. Both because it can at times seem to trivialise and render as simply eccentric and amusing what is actually an increasingly powerful and destructive force in our society; and also because being awake to genuine injustice is a distinctive part of the conservative tradition.

"Those of us who have expressed concern about this phenomenon – we who see identity trumping ideas in arguments, who see language policed for evidence of thought crime, who see attachments to faith and family regarded as reactionary prisons – are often derided as culture warriors.

"But it is the radical social change activists who want to identify, create and magnify divisions, who want to tear down and transform, who demand repentance and self-abasement. Where they bring discord, I want to see harmony. I want to bring peace to our cultural war."

Most read in The Sun


Little-known beach is now the best in the UK according to TripAdvisor


Cops fear missing baby is at 'high risk' and they may have left it out in open


Broadchurch star Andrew Buchan walks out on wife after falling for co-star


Real reason BBC axed Ken Bruce's Radio 2 show weeks before he was due to leave

He added: "That is why there is such energy behind calls to decolonise curricula and museums – or such intolerance in some of the debates about gender or sexuality.

"The aim is to delegitimize nationhood and national loyalties, make any traditional affections seem acts of oppression, uproot the settled and familiar and make way for a brave new world."

Source: Read Full Article