Strict rules – for parents
I’m a bit of a rebel by inclination, but even I understand that sometimes obeying the rules protects us all. So when Barry Smith became principal of Great Yarmouth High School, and introduced “army-like schooling”, I thought: Well done. mate. Keep it up!
According to Mr Smith, the school had “some of the worst GCSE results in the entire country” before he took over. “In a typical class of 30 pupils, 21 left school without even a pass in English and maths,” he said.
I found that shocking. And if I had a child at that school, I would welcome anyone who wanted to change those results.
The new rules were strict. A briefing document told pupils: “In corridors we walk in single file on the left. No bags on our backs. No turning around. You listen to every single word your teacher says very, very carefully. You don’t pick up your pen or ruler, or anything else, until your teacher gives you the signal.”
Some parents have complained this amounts to bullying. In fact, it’s called discipline. And from the sound of things, it’s not just the kids who need to learn that important lesson, it’s their parents too.
I grew up with rules like this – old-fashioned manners and principles that gave me life skills I needed to succeed in the world of work. Punctuality, concentration and respect are learnt at school and reinforced every day for a reason. They are habits that will help a child every day throughout their whole life. If I could introduce a new school rule for kids it would be this: “The school does not accept responsibility for disruptive parenting.”
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