Row over 'intrusive' Ofsted survey of pupils - Telegraph
"Pupils as young as 10 are being asked if they smoke and whether their mothers are in paid work as part of a Government-backed survey branded "Orwellian" by parents' groups.
About 120,000 pupils have already completed the survey by Ofsted, the education watchdog, which is compiling a database on children's lifestyle, health and happiness.
Children, who do not need to ask parents' permission before taking part, are asked: "Does the mum or step mum that you live with have a paid job?"
They are also asked to rate how "safe or unsafe" they feel at school and home, how many times they have drunk alcohol in the last month, the number of cigarettes smoked, and whether they receive free school meals.
Although pupils do not have to give their name, they are asked to provide postcodes, sparking fears the information could be used by police or social services.
Some schools are refusing to take part amid fears that it is too intrusive. Mick Brookes, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said the survey smacked of "Big Brother".
Margaret Morrissey, a spokesman for the National Confederation of Parent Teacher Associations, also attacked the "Orwellian" scheme. "It is absolutely inappropriate to be asking these kind of questions and it is totally out of order to ask for their postcode," she said."
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