A SCHOOL trust has been forced to issue a letter to parents urging them to treat teachers with respect after reporting incidents of abuse which has led to some parents being banned from school grounds.

The Arete Learning Trust, which runs Stokesley, Richmond and Northallerton secondary schools under CEO Catherine Brooker, sent the letters out to all parents earlier this week.

However, some parents have said they felt the tone of the letter was "aggressive and patronising", and that it was unfair to tarnish all parents with the same brush.

The Northern Echo: FUNDING: Areté Learning Trust chief executive Catherine BrookerFUNDING: Areté Learning Trust chief executive Catherine Brooker

In the letter, Mrs Brooker tells of a "worrying trend in the attitude of some parents" which "compromises the wellbeing and safety of staff", as well as setting a poor example to students.

Mrs Brooker said in the letter: "We have even witnessed this in our schools, including parents threatening and intimidating staff, using foul and abusive language, undermining staff members in front of children and actively encouraging to disobey the reasonable requests from teachers.

"It has even been necessary to ban parents from the school grounds because of their behaviour. It is any wonder that with role models like this, their children struggle to follow the most basic school rules which they don't regard as applicable to them?"

One parent, who asked to remain anonymous, said: "As a parent I find the tone of this email incredibly patronising and aggressive. I’m stunned they use language like, 'is it any wonder'.

Another parent added: "I think there will be a sense of parents feeling like we are all being tarred with the same brush. I’m sure this letter must be aimed at a minority of parents and not sure a blanket letter to everyone is productive."

Anne Swift, former headteacher and executive member for the northern region for the National Education Union, said as the employer, Mrs Brooker had a duty of care to look after after staff.

She said: "We would expect the schools to do something to protect the staff if they were being abused. Yes, parents might feel the tone of the letter could be changed, but the schools have made it clear they welcome discussion should they wish.

"Schools have to make it clear what is acceptable – it is similar to signs you see in post offices or on public transport that say the staff have a right to be treated with respect. It tells everybody the same message.

"Teachers are even more on the front line and the schools have a duty to their employees to make sure they are safe. I know most parents would never dream of behaving in this manner."