Six pupils excluded from Hull's new academy in its first 12 weeks
SIX pupils have been excluded from Hull's new academy in its first 12 weeks as staff get tough with troublemakers.
Staff at Thomas Ferens Academy have adopted a no-nonsense policy towards bad behaviour as it attempts to lead the school into a new era of education.
The exclusions at the Orchard Park academy represent one-third of all exclusions across Hull's 14 secondary schools since September.
Juliet Strang, principal at the Hall Road academy, told the Mail she and the governors were keen to set a certain standard of behaviour from the outset.
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She said: "I want every single student to get the very best from us.
"This means we need to create a good atmosphere for learning with very high standards of behaviour.
"In each case, the decision to exclude from Thomas Ferens Academy has been made in order to protect the rights of other children to learn in happy and safe environ- ment.
"I have been tremendously impressed with the young people who attend our academy."
However, concerns have been raised about the exclusions with critics saying academies should work with unruly pupils rather than expel them.
An education official, who asked not to be named, said: "There is huge pressure on academies to succeed.
"If children are excluded from academies, where do they go? Into state schools, where they bring their troubles and difficulties with them.
"And then, where the academies' results will show an upwards rise, the local authorities' results will be skewed."
Ms Strang said the higher-than-normal exclusion rate had little to do with being an academy and was more about setting boundaries from the beginning of the school's life.
She said she expected the academy would not have to exclude at the same rate from now on.
Ms Strang said: "The reason is not because we are an academy, it is because we are a new school.
"It is no easier to exclude from an academy than any other school.
"Every case is judged on merit, there are no automatic exclusions. "We are bound by the same law as other schools."
Thomas Ferens Academy opened in September under Hull's Building Schools for the Future programme.
The school took pupils from the now-closed Sir Henry Cooper School.
Governors at the academy say they back the actions of the principal, insisting it is paramount an example is set from the beginning.
A spokesman said: "High standards of behaviour are expected from all pupils.
"The principal's decisions are subject to full review by the governing body before any permanent exclusion is agreed, and a full and proper procedure is in place to undertake such reviews.
"The governing body is fully supportive of the principal's efforts to embed high expectations of good behaviour, and recognises how vital it is to do so at this early stage in the life of the academy."