Headteacher warns of hungover pupils

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Midweek drinking is causing an increasing number of sixth-form students to miss lessons because they are too hungover to attend, the head of a £2,740-a-term school in the Midlands says.

Tim Taylor, head of Bromsgrove School in Worcestershire, told parents, pupils and guests at the annual prizegiving there had been a decline in attendance and discipline over the past academic year because students were spending more time on late-night drinking.

"It should be unacceptable for Lower Sixth pupils to party midweek in term, end up in a nightclub in the early hours and then be absent from the school the next day," Mr Taylor said.

He blamed a decline in "Christian values" and parental support at Bromsgrove, which has 680 pupils aged 13 to 18 in its upper school. Vowing to ensure that all pupils understand their responsibilities, Mr Taylor added: "We will try to make it much clearer to parents what we expect and when we feel support is unforthcoming."

He added that the school, established as a Tudor grammar school in 1548, would "educate against this tide to ensure that pupils developed high standards of conduct, discipline, dress, punctuality, attendance and manners.

"We will not tolerate those who harm others, disrupt the learning of others or who deliberately make it harder to run the school."

John Dunford, the general secretary of the Secondary Heads Association, blamed the pupils' behaviour on the pressure of too much work.

"Sixth formers work much harder than their parents did at the same stage and this year has been particularly hard, with most sixth formers putting in around 50 hours a week."