Headteacher sends home pupils who refuse to stand up when he enters classroom
A new headmaster has sparked a 'respect' row by excluding pupils who refuse to stand up when he enters a classroom.
Kevin Harrison, 55, believes children should immediately rise when he comes into a room because it helps increase 'pride and educational standards'.
But when he introduced the rule at the 900-pupil Macclesfield High School in Cheshire after taking over earlier this month, he was accused of being 'ridiculous' and 'heavy-handed'.
The father of one 15-year-old boy sent home for disobeying Mr Harrison claimed the headmaster needed to 'earn respect' before children should stand up for him.
Tim Walton, 40, added that his son Daniel, who is in Year Ten, was 'entirely justified' to remain seated when Mr Harrison joined his class.
The father-of-three said: 'I teach my kids the laws of society and that is respect is earned.
"The headteacher hasn't been there long enough to earn my son's respect so why should he stand up for him?
'They have brought in these new rules which I think are ridiculous, and they haven't told any of the parents about them.'
He went on: 'They are also saying that girls can't wear make-up. What has make-up got to do with their brains? If they expect girls to go in without make-up then they should ask the staff to as well.
'I've had enough of my kids being punished because of these so-called rules which have nothing to do with their education
Mr Harrison joined the school - whose motto is 'Motivated, Happy and Successful Learners' - after the previous headmaster retired due to a long-standing neurological condition.
It is believed the standing-up rule was dropped two years ago. But Mr Harrison, a teacher for 34 years who had been deputy head at a nearby school, revived it.
He said pupils are asked to stand so they can be 'praised for high standards of appearance to improve personal pride and expectations'.
Mr Harrison, a father-of-two whose wife is also a headteacher, added: 'Rules are about raising standards across the board and having high expectations.
'We want our students to be highly motivated and able to use their initiative, so that they can be confident, resourceful and successful in many different ways. Our aims are to promote high aspiration and high academic achievement.
'We want students to take pride in their work, in the school and in the community. We can't have children refusing to do what a member of staff is asking them to do.
'This student continually refused to listen and abide by the rules, comply with our requests and behave in a respectful way. He has been excluded from school until Friday for refusing to comply with school rules.'
Nick Seaton, from the Campaign for Real Education, said: 'I would say that most parents would think the headteacher is absolutely right.
'Youngsters and pupils have got to respect their teachers otherwise the whole system falls apart.
'It's vital that adults, both teachers and parents and other responsible adults, regain their authority from children, a lot of whom seem to think they can do what they like.
'As for the youngster who failed to obey the rules, if he doesn't like the school he should go somewhere else. He shouldn't think he can do as he pleases. That makes a nonsense of the system.
'The respect is for the position of the headteacher, more than the individual. The headteacher, by achieving that position, has been handed that respect.
'Teachers and pupils are not exactly equals and it's nonsense to think they are. Pupils aren't full adults yet, they have to learn to follow the norms of society.'