A TEACHER has been branded the “toughest” in the UK for his army-style rules – reportedly forcing pupils to walk with their shoulders against the walls.
Controversial Barry Smith has angered parents at De Lisle College, in Loughborough, allegedly placing sick buckets in the classroom amongst other stark changes.
The former headmaster’s arrival has allegedly sparked a backlash with parents, with some claiming that pupils are being forced to smile at staff.
It is thought that Mr Smith was invited to the Catholic secondary school on a temporary basis to help them achieve a smooth transition of pupils between classes.
Mr Smith previously appeared on an ITV News investigation into his unusual methods while at a failing inner city school in London, in May earlier this year.
He is understood to confiscate phones, place sick buckets in classrooms for ill students, suggests 9.30pm bedtimes and wants kids to look staff in the eye when speaking.
Mr Smith was also thrown into the limelight while working as a headmaster at Great Yarmouth Charter Academy, in Norfolk, for turning the school around before leaving last year.
Parents of pupils at De Lisle College claim that a “new discipline regime” had been introduce that matched his methods.
She told LeicestershireLive: "Children are being made to do all manner of things, such as walking with both shoulders against the wall.
"I'm not sure how that is even possible. They are also being forced to smile constantly at teachers and staff – or their punishment is detention.
"The children are confused – I'm confused. We were not notified, pupils were not notified. I'm not sure about other parents but I for one am not happy.
"I was not aware of any discipline issues at the school beforehand."
Another parent added that the “De Lisle smile” is a term being used at the school after the arrival of the new teacher.
He said: "Staff are saying this to students in the corridor! I am devastated I have sent my child into school not knowing she will be pulled up for not smiling.
"She is a happy girl but generally only smiles if something makes her smile!"
'RIGID BEHAVIOUR POLICIES'
Another angry parent said: “It is clear he has brought with him some very rigid behaviour policies. One girl was told the way she folded her arms was rude.
"My own daughter is very anxious about returning to school, although she is a bright pupil who has never had any concerns raised about her behaviour.
"When she mentioned who the visitor was I was shocked that the school has brought in such a controversial person.
"Barry Smith is branded the toughest head in the country and I know he was at the centre of an ITV investigation into his strict approaches.
"I have huge concerns that he is even consulting within my child's school, let alone the impact this could have on future behaviour policy.
"What annoys me the most is that us parents weren't even consulted. I'm deeply concerned that this type of leadership is even been considered."
Several parents are understood to have sent letters to the academy trust demanding an explanation for the changes.
The Sun has contacted De Lisle College for a comment.
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