Boys without a father at home are likely to have difficulties at school and should be provided with male role models to fill the gap, Ofsted inspectors say.
The recommendation comes in a new report focusing on white boys from low-income families – a group with one of the poorest levels of educational achievement.
The report says that schools can help these boys by recognising that background factors, such as not having a father at home, can have a damaging effect on their behaviour.
Research shows that children without a father at home suffer across a range of fronts. This is the latest in a series of calls for the importance of fathers to be recognised.
One headteacher told Ofsted: “Many of these boys are from single-parent families, mainly living with mum.
“Many start school ignoring what adults say. We have to spend time teaching them why it is important to respond to adults more positively.
“For some older boys, there can be a particular problem with their attitude to female staff.
“We try to overcome this by treating each other with respect and providing good male role models where possible.”
Another said: “We’re trying to put in place what isn’t done at home. If there’s anything we can try, we’ll have a go at it.”