Bring Back Child Discipline

MY HERO of the week is Barry Smith, the new head of a Norfolk secondary school so strict and terrifying that he makes the Demon Headmaster sound as lovable and benign as dear old Professor Dumblebore.

St Trinian’s girls’ antics may make us smile but the conduct in real life is no laughing matter Credit: ALAMY

Partly he’s my hero because of the magnificently uncompromising nature of the list of demands he has just issued to parents and pupils at Great Yarmouth High School in Norfolk.

After attacking parents for the “lack of support” which has previously helped make the school one of the worst in the country, he goes on to warn pupils that mobile phone usage and chewing gum are now banned, that breaches of the uniform code will be punished by “isolation” and more detailed rules will follow shortly.

These rules – we know from a leaked internal memo – include an extremely low tolerance for skiving (“If you vomit – no problem! You’ve got your bucket. If you are really ill we will make sure you get all the attention you need.”); mobile phones (“if it accidentally goes off or accidentally falls out of your pocket we confiscate it”); paying attention (“only ever look at your teacher or where your teacher has directed you to look”); and bedtimes. Pupils are advised to go straight home after finishing school, to be in bed by 9pm and set their alarms for 6.30am.

Read the rest in the Express.