Growing numbers of spoilt "little princes" are turning up to class unable to behave because their parents have failed to discipline them at home, a new union leader warned yesterday.
These youngsters blame others for their own failures and refuse to do anything difficult or boring in a culture of instant gratification, said Amanda Haehner, the incoming president of the NASUWT told its annual conference in Birmingham.
But schools must not be expected to take sole responsibility for giving children "boundaries", she said.
Ms Haehner, from St Mary's High School in Croydon, south London, told the conference at the ICC: "The rise of 'the little prince' and, increasingly his female sidekick, is a cause for concern.
"The little prince never has to do anything he finds difficult or boring, he does not have to take any responsibility for his actions.
"Anything negative that happens is someone else's responsibility and if this right to a stress-free existence is questioned, a doting relative will appear immediately to sort everything out.
"Or at least they will until the little prince stops being cute, turns into the household bully and the protector turns up at school, wringing their hands and begging for help."
She said these youngsters were often "desperately unhappy" and wanted someone to lay down some rules to "make them feel secure".
"Creating boundaries takes time and effort but cannot remain the sole preserve of teachers and schools," she said.
"Children will always model the behaviour and attitudes they see around them. Too many children arrive at school with no sense of any basic social etiquette. It is not just the responsibility of teachers but the responsibility of all - parents, relatives, neighbours, broadcasters, politicians and anyone else with influence over the lives of the young, to demonstrate the behaviours deemed acceptable in society."
But she added: "A materialistic society which so readily promotes a culture of immediacy through new media and technology makes the concept of deferred gratification inherent in education anathema to many."