Strict rules – for par­ents

Sunday Mirror - - SAIRAKHAN -

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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