Parents hit out at school ‘dictators’

PARENTS of children at a newly built school have criticised senior staff for running a “dictatorship” after they banned the use of staples, sticky tape and ordered teacher to use “corporate” cups.

New health and safety rules say staff cannot use their own mugs for hot drinks and must have only one cup on a desk at a time.

Notices, information and work can only be displayed with special school drawing pins and furniture cannot be moved from one area of the school to another.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Photos of family and friends are banned in staff work areas and when birthdays are celebrated all decorations and cards have to be removed by the end of the day.

There will also be an “agreed protocol” for Christmas decorations under the new “working practice policy”.

The guidelines at the new Pen-istone Grammar Advanced Learning Centre, near Barnsley, have been condemned by parents as “ridiculous”.

One said: “The school is being run like a dictatorship and is about control not education.”

The new policy follows a row at the school over a new dress code for sixth-form students starting in September.

An online petition has 295 signatures opposing a decision to ban jeans, leggings and hoodies in favour of more traditional schoolwear.

Headteacher Jo Higgins said the “protocol” policy was developed after talks with staff and was about maintaining high standards on the new site.

She said: “It is about staff well-being and we have excellent facilities for staff work areas and want the whole thing to be right and provide them with nice crockery and keep it nice.

“Staff views were invited on deciding policies and not one person raised any concerns with it.

“The protocol document was created by a working party of staff and it went to consultation several times and these policies have come from that working party of staff not me.

“These are not my diktats by any means.”

She said the school was also enforcing the existing dress code which bans shorts and flimsy footwear.