Teachers say a Government plan to offer courses to parents with problem children will not help them to deal with violence in the classroom.

Education Minister Anne Tolley said yesterday that parents from at-risk families would be offered help to improve their skills in a programme designed to deal with misbehaviour.

She said at least 12,000 parents would be offered the support on a voluntary basis and 5000 teachers would receive training in effective classroom management.

"We cannot tolerate the negative impact that disruptive behaviour has on learners and teachers," Mrs Tolley told the Post-Primary Teachers Association (PPTA) in Wellington.

"We clearly need a far more radical, effective and overarching approach to address the underlying challenges."

However, PPTA president Kate Gainsford said "plans to identify and work with behaviour issues much earlier on in a child's life are sensible but these measures will be of little help to teachers returning to the frontline on the first day of term four".

Mrs Tolley said $45 million would be put into the Positive Behaviour for Learning Action Plan over the next five years, with the rollout starting next year. She said it would work alongside other student attendance and engagement initiatives.

- NZPA