The Telegraph reports that parents have branded a school “the strictest in Britain” after complaining that pupils are forced to wear signs around their necks if they breached uniform policy.
The new rules have also seen children punished for having shoes which are too shiny, tapping tables and looking at the clock, according to parents.
A strict behaviour policy was rolled out at Merchants Academy in Withywood in Bristol a fortnight before the end of term.
“Students that are not wearing the expected uniform and do not have a note from the Medical Welfare Officer will be sent to the Isolation Room if their uniform is not improved within 24 hours,” the school’s policy says. “Students that have incorrect uniform need to wear a pass, if this is not on show they will be sent to the Isolation”.
Petula Peacock, whose son attends Merchants Academy, said she was appalled by the policy and complained to the school.
“The head has started off this policy which has caused absolute uproar. I’m not a wishy-washy person, I know my son’s a good lad,” said Mrs Peacock, 49. “They are just trying to prove a point. It’s stuff like making a girl wear a lanyard for wearing the wrong colour hairband. “My son is worried about missing lessons, he is worried about being excluded.”
A 17-page document was issued detailing the ‘Behaviour for Learning’ policy, which explains that incorrect uniform or serious disruption in class will lead to “immediate removal” from the classroom, while “defiance” leads to automatic isolation for five lessons including lunch, break and 15 minutes after school. One pupil was taken to task over shoes which were ‘too shiny’, parents claimed.
Headteacher Mr Short said: “Low level disruption in class is known to negatively affect the progress and attainment of students. “As a result, Merchants’ Academy introduced a new Positive Behaviour policy, designed to minimise and remove low level disruption from lessons, allowing for higher levels of engagement and more progress to be made by all students.”
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