Friday, May 05, 2006

The Nanny Education State

A recent survey of British parents found that some 40% want schools to set their children's bedtimes because they can't seem to do it themselves:
Worn down by the nightly battle to prise them from televisions and computers, one in five families lets children decide their own bedtimes.

Mick Brookes, the general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: "It's quite bizarre, but on the other hand it could be a cry for help and when schools and parents work together it can be a very effective way of enforcing discipline."

The survey by The Times Educational Supplement found that seven in 10 children aged five to 16 have a television in their bedrooms and nearly as many have a DVD player or video recorder as well.

Dr Irshaad Ebrahim, of the London Sleep Centre, said: "It is an abdication of parents' responsibility for them to expect the school to set bedtimes."

Schoolchildren need nine to 10 hours' sleep a night.

The survey of 500 parents of children attending state and independent schools found that a quarter of 12- to 14-year-olds were still up at 9.45pm and more than a quarter of 14- to 16-year-olds were still awake at 10.15pm. Four in 100 teenagers aged 14 to 16 were not in bed by 11pm
Over at the Manchester Guardian, word is that children having televisions in their bedrooms get 30 minutes less sleep per night. Duh!
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