A CONTROVERSIAL headteacher who banned mobiles and told kids when to go to bed has been removed from the school after allegedly restraining a pupil.
Barry Smith made headlines for ordering pupils to walk in single file to lessons, be asleep at 9.30pm and up by 6.30am every day.
He also warned pupils that they would be given a bucket to throw up in if they felt ill in class to cut down on them feigning sickness to get out of lessons.
His crackdown led to him being labelled Britain’s toughest headteacher in 2017 after he took over a failing high school and relaunched it as Great Yarmouth Charter Academy, Norfolk.
While he was praised by many parents, his appointment led to a backlash from others who accused him of “Army-like” behaviour and claimed that some of their children were left scared about going to school.
RESTRAINT OF PUPIL
But the education newspaper Schools Week has reported that Mr Smith has not been in charge of day-to-day activities at the 740-pupil school since early December.
Sources told the publication that he was “moved out of the school following an incident involving the restraint of a pupil.”
The Inspiration Trust which runs 13 primary and secondary schools and a sixth form college in Norfolk and Suffolk refused to comment on the reasons behind Mr Smith’s exit, but insisted he had not been suspended.
A spokesperson said for the trust said: “Barry Smith has not been suspended. He is working centrally on a curriculum project.
“The school is being overseen by the executive principal, as usual, and while the principal is out of school, the deputy principal is taking over the day-to-day operations.”
Mr Smith has also not made any comment.
The school had some of the worst GCSE results in the country when it was previously known as Great Yarmouth High School and was rated as “inadequate” by Ofsted with only one in three pupils achieving a pass in English and maths.
The school is being overseen by the executive principal, as usual, and while the principal is out of school, the deputy principal is taking over the day-to-day operations.
But Mr Smith’s new regime quickly led to dramatic improvements, and the school doubling its success rate at GCSEs.
Despite Mr Smith’s success, a Facebook group entitled Yarmouth Charter Academy Worried PARENTS which was set up after his appointment still has more than 1,000 members.
Kelvin Seal, 35, who set up the group with his wife, Emma, said: “Mr [Barry] Smith [the headteacher] said, ‘Morning Miss’ to one poor girl and she said ‘morning’ back.
“He said it was school policy that she say, ‘morning, Sir’. Then when she did say it without looking up, he screamed in her face to look at him when he was speaking to her. When she said it again, he just said, ‘Better’, and walked off.
“Some of the rules are well over the top. Children have to be silent when walking down corridors in single file and they have been told to carry rucksacks rather than have them on their backs.
“They are not even allowed different coloured bags and they have to have their hair cut a certain way.”
Mr Smith made further headlines in February 2018 when he banned extreme haircuts including a boy’s style known as “Meet Me at McDonald’s”, featuring hair cut short at the sides and curly on top.
But schools minister Nick Gibb praised him and the Inspiration Trust for improvements at the school in Parliament in 2018, saying: “Within a year, the school had been transformed.”
Mr Smith told in September 2018 how he had been subjected to a hate campaign on social media and in the street with some people making false claims that he was a paedophile, a bully and racist.
He wrote on his blog: “Today someone posted an edited picture of me, depicting me as the devil with a caption: I will make your school days hellish!
“Last week there were lies circulated about me on Facebook saying I take photographs of Year 10 girls on my phone and that, on another occasion, I had to be forcibly escorted off a junior school site for photographing children.
“All these accusations are completely without any foundation.
“We’re accused of permanently excluding kids for dropping pen tops or wearing trainers. None of it true.
“I’ve been accused of calling kids fat, of being racist, of bullying children, the list goes on. None of it true.
“School age kids I don’t know, know me from the press. Invariably, if I’m in the street, some will shout after me, telling me I’m a ‘baldy c*nt’ and that my school is ‘f*cking sh*t’.”
He added: “Clearly, some won’t be happy until I resign or I’m sacked. Or do they want me to be so filled with self-loathing that I top myself? What is the motivation of the haters?
“Fear not. I’m impervious to detractors. I’m incredibly excited about what we’re going to achieve this year. I’m more determined than ever to keep doing what I believe in.”
The Sun Online has contacted the school and Inspiration Trust for comment.
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