Decline of marriage is destroying our pupils, say teachers (UK)

Daily Mail (UK) 19th March 2008

The decline of marriage is leading to widespread underachievement and indiscipline in schools, teachers warned yesterday. Children with “chaotic” home lives turn up at school too troubled to learn, wrecking their prospects of success in exams, they said. Growing numbers are being brought up in splintered families by mothers with children by different fathers, leading to behaviour and mental health problems including eating disorders and suicidal thoughts, a teachers’ conference heard. They are more likely to lead “dysfunctional” lives themselves, creating a “toxic circle” that no amount of investment or initiatives directed at schools can reverse.

Members of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers demanded a proper recognition of the impact of family breakdown on education and called on ministers to do more to promote marriage. They said research from around the world showed that lack of stability at home can hamper children’s learning.