Thursday, July 21, 2005

Ashton-on-Mersey school

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,6903,1525300,00.html

Amelia Hill, in the 10 July 2005 Observer, explained how the rules and discipline, applied by headteacher Tarun Kapur, have improved Ashton-on-Mersey school, Greater Manchester. The school is 'non-selective' in its intake.

1. Those whose hair is too long or too short are suspended.

Girls are forbidden to dye their hair, and must keep it tied back with a plain clasp.

2. Anyone not wearing the full uniform will spend the day in an isolation unit.

Mobiles and jewellery are confiscated.

3. Any child failing to stand up the moment an adult enters a room is given detention.

4. Before entering a classroom, pupils must line up outside and wait to be invited in by the teacher.

They then stand quietly behind their chairs until told to sit down. They must not leave a room without permission, even if the bell sounds.

5. Parents must sign a contract agreeing to various rules, including their attendance at all school meetings.

6. Teachers must wear suits and face random clothes inspections. They are forbidden to refer to children as kids, must never publicly call each other by their first names and have to attend weekly briefings where the head challenges any relaxation of standards.

Kapur said:

'It's about getting every pupil to show old-fashioned, traditional respect for teachers and for education which has been eroded over years...

'We get the most disadvantaged, underprivileged and poorest-achieving children here. They all come here as failures and need to be brainwashed into forgetting that...

'I enforce an absolute formality in an increasingly informal world, and demonstrate zero tolerance of any deviation...

'The children are not here to make statements about their individuality; they are here to work. By being petty with the exactness of our rules, we close the loopholes that give children an opportunity of making the even pettier protests that interrupt learning.

'There is a direct correlation between the way students look and their behaviour. If you look scruffy you behave poorly...

'Teachers are just grown-up children. It's my job to stop teachers and pupils slipping into slovenly, sloppy behaviour. I tell them, I don't ask them, exactly what is going to happen. It may sound draconian but it's about professional dignity.'

Under Kapur, the number of pupils achieving five good GCSE passes has more than doubled to over 60 per cent, 'making it one of the most successful schools in the north-west'.

The last two Ofsted reports described the school as 'outstanding'.

The school is now heavily over-subscribed.

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A three hour school day; a school leaving age of 12

British school children

Black boys, 'Britain's main crime problem', need 'segregation and discipline' at school?

Sex in UK primary schools; crime and cash obsessed youth; the culture of fear

TEENAGERS AND CRIME AND BHUTAN

Violence in schools

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