Families and Children

Governments should stand behind families rather than try to replace them.

Many children turn up at school lacking discipline or manners, their disruptive behaviour holds back others and attacks on teachers are at an all time high. Some education authorities have had to introduce special ‘nurture classes’ in which children are given meals (including breakfast) and are taught basic social skills which they are not getting at home. Although we recognise the value of such programmes we believe that the best long term solutions for this type of problem will be achieved by strengthening the family unit, improving the efficiency of schools and providing better jobs and housing.

Where families do break up, we propose an equal parenting policy similar to Florida. Under this system, parents who split up work with a mediation service to determine how parenting duties are to be split. This starts from the assumption that each parent will have an equal role in parenting and helps to focus parents on their responsibilities to their children rather than engaging in disputes about custody and access.

Pre-school education and care

The New Party would introduce measures to help working families who need childcare provision

We would also encourage the maximum participation of parents in pre-school care by scaling down the bureaucratic regime which currently restricts their input. In order to encourage the involvement of parents in local schools, school premises receiving public funds would be made available to parenting groups free of charge.