Children should be in bed at 9pm and up at 6:30am, says new headmaster at one of UK's worst schools

It's part of a huge new crackdown on discipline and behaviour

Rachel Hosie@rachel_hosie
Monday 11 September 2017 10:12

The new headmaster of one of Britain’s worst schools has outraged parents by saying all children should be in bed at 9pm and up at 6:30am.

As part of a crackdown at Great Yarmouth High School in Norfolk, Barry Smith is imposing a new regime on pupils.

He has been urgently brought in to try and turn around the struggling school.

Other measures include walking in single file in corridors, having their phones confiscated for weeks if they’re seen or heard, having buckets to vomit in in classrooms if they feel sick, and accepting that teachers are the “unquestioned authority.”

Parents of children at the school, however, have not reacted well. They’ve set up a Facebook group called Yarmouth High Worried Parents, which currently has nearly 900 members.

Last year, the school was taken over by the Inspiration Trust and became a Charter Academy.

Over the summer, Great Yarmouth High received some of the worst GCSE results in the country, with just 30 per cent of pupils passing English and Maths.

Smith, who is co-founder, and former deputy principal at the famously strict Michaela Community School in Wembley Park, north-west London, was brought in to replace former head, Louise Jackson.

In a letter to parents, he set out the new standards he’d be imposing, new behavioural rules and the high expectations he has for pupils.

“As the Headmaster of Charter Academy I cannot, I will not, allow the indiscipline, the disrespect, the failure, the bullying, the truancy and the lack of parental support, that were all a part of daily life at the former High School, to continue,” Smith wrote.

As well as facing having their phones confiscated if a teacher spots or hears it ring, any pupil who fails to hand their device over will be placed in isolation.

This is also the punishment for anyone not meeting the school’s “expectations regarding uniform and appearance.”

When walking between classes, pupils are not permitted to talk to each other and must walk in single file.

“Your children will avoid detentions, isolations, or confiscations if you are a supportive parent,” Smith wrote in his letter. “The responsibility lies with you.”

An internal school memo expanded on new discipline rules too - pupils were informed they must not make excuses to get out of lessons, and should go straight home after school, go to bed at 9:00pm and get up at 6:30am.

But parents of the pupils - aged 11-16 - have reacted furiously to the new measures, venting their anger in a private Facebook group.

According to the Mail Online, parents have said they are “appalled” by the new “army-like” rules. They’re also holding a meeting on September 14 to discuss their reaction to the new headmaster’s regime.

Tracy Cole said: “Love to know why my daughter was put in isolation today and made to cry on her first day back. I’m fuming, thing is she doesn’t even know why she was put in there.”

And some parents are even considering transferring their children to different schools.

Others, however, have welcomed the changes.

“No parent wants to hear bad reviews about their kids but let’s face it, our children aren’t little angels in the home so you can bet your bottom dollar they’re even worse at school,” said Cheryl Ann Gardin.

“That school was a joke before and I'd bet money it's about to turn around for the better.”

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