The new headteacher at Castle Vale Performing Arts College in Birmingham is certainly making her mark on pupils - she's introduced a string of strict new policies
, including only allowing children to go out of class to use the toilet once a week!
are issued the bizarrely entitled 'I am missing super learning opportunities because I need a tinkle' pass on Monday morning, and it can only be used once during the week. If not used, it must be handed in on Friday afternoon to ensure they are not carried forward to the next week, which would allow pupils, shock horror, TWO toilet breaks.
New headmistress at the school, Charlotte Blencowe, is responsible for the introduction of the cards, along with a whole heap of other extreme measures including students being told they can only communicate in class via a series of hand-signals.
Fingers to eyes and then to the board = I can't see
Hands clasped in the air = I need a new book or paper
Three fingers in the air = I need the toilet
Pupils have also been told that their bags will be searched to ensure their mobile phones are switched off and to check that they have the required number of pens and pencils.
Parents are not impressed, and staged an angry protest outside the college on Thursday after 40 students were sent home for wearing the wrong shoes
Police were called when crowds of parents gathered outside the gates, furious that their children had been turned away for breaching a tough new uniform code.
Eggs were even thrown at the teachers during the protest!
Teresa Doyle's children, Ellie, 13, and Connoe, 15, attend the school.
: "It's a secondary school but they're treating it more like a nursery with all these hand signals and 'tinkle cards'. My kids are saying to me, 'Mum, we're not at school, we're at a prison.'
"They're not allowed to talk in class at all and must do everything by these bizarre hand signals. There were crowds of parents in reception complaining, but no one's yet managed to talk to the headteacher.
"One parent spotted the head teacher in the corridor and tried to speak to her but she refused. She told one of the other teachers to speak to him and then turned her back on him."
The only communication given to parents has been via deputy headteacher, Mark Riggall. Parents yesterday received a text message telling them to go to the school website and download a letter written by Mr Riggall, saying:
"I would officially like to thank everybody who has worked hard to make the day today such a success. The atmosphere inside school was calm and focused, allowing all students to engage their learning in a positive way."
The letter goes on to list the types of shoes which are acceptable, and then states that students wearing the appropriate shoes would be allowed into lessons, whilst those who are not 'will be held in the main hall until the correct footwear is brought into school.'
Miss Blencowe has not commented on the rules or the protest.
What do you make of this? Trying to imagine teenagers queuing for a 'tinkle' pass and the potential for a whole different group of hand signals.
- Five-year-old threatened with noise fine
Poor Alfie Lansdell was <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2011/08/30/four-year-old-threatened-with-5-000-noise-fine-for-playing-too/" target="_blank">threatened with a whopping £5,000 fine</a> because he apparently made too much noise playing in his garden. The little lad was told to keep stum by his local council in Hull after a neighbour complained he was making too much of a racket playing outside in the family's garden.</p>
- Picnics banned on Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Visitors to Blackpool's Pleasure Beach attraction - which costs around £80 for a family ticket - were told they <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2011/05/06/family-trip-to-blackpool-dont-take-a-picnic/" target="_blank">couldn’t bring their own packed lunches</a> and could only eat food they had purchased on site last Summer. Staff at the entrance to the Pleasure Beach reportedly seized sarnies at the gate, only returning them when visitors left! A spokesperson said at the time: “Due to the intensity of rides and attractions within the 42 acre site, there is limited space, and so a dedicated picnic area has been created adjacent to the entrance of Pleasure Beach.”</p>
- No more conkers, kids!
New research shows traditional playground games, like conkers and British Bulldog have <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2011/04/19/schools-ban-traditional-playground-games-over-safety-fears/" target="_blank">nearly disappeared from school break times</a> amid concerns about health and safety. More and more schools are banning the games over fears off broken bones (yes really, from conkers!) and even nut allergies (we tried very hard not to laugh at that one). Have they been banned at your children’s school?</p>
- Butlins ban bumper cars from bumping!
In possibly the most bonkers health and safety story to date, <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2011/04/27/butlins-bans-bumpers-cars-from-bumping/" target="_blank">Butlins banned bumper cars from bumping into each other</a> at their onsite fairgrounds last year. The director at the Bognor Regis Butlins resort, Jeremy Pardey said: "The point of our dodgems is to dodge people, not to run into people.”</p>
- Footballs banned in Gloucestershire school
A school in Gloucestershire needed to find its balls back in September 2011 when it banned <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2011/09/23/parents-outrage-as-school-bans-proper-footballs/" target="_blank">proper footballs for soft sponge balls</a> because it feared children would injure themselves. Outraged mums and dads have branded the move crazy, but teachers insist they have implemented the ban after a “number of incidents” with leather-style balls.</p>
- Seven-year-olds told off for gun mime game
Two little boys got into trouble for <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2011/05/31/seven-year-olds-reprimanded-for-gun-mime-game/" target="_blank">miming a gun fight at school in May 2011. </a>The seven-year-olds were told by teachers not to make gun shapes with their hands because it was threatening, and their parents were then instructed to reprimand the boys over their behaviour. The father of one of the boys said: 'This is ridiculous. How can you tell a seven-year-old boy he can't play guns and armies with his friends?” Do you agree with the teachers or the parents on this one?</p>
- Playground equipment removed from park
Poor children in Allergate, Co. Durham are twiddling their thumbs after health and safety spoilsports <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2011/12/08/health-and-safety-spoilsports-strip-kids-playground-of-all-equi/" target="_blank">removed all the playground equipment from a park</a> as they claimed it was dangerous, despite being in use, without problems, for 10 years. Swings, a roundabout, see-saw and slide were all removed because they apparently fall foul of complicated European regulations.</p>
- Plastic crates banned by Primary School
Dairy Crest gave Wychwood primary school 25 milk crates in 1996 for children to use in the playground. But 15 years later they were removed by the dairy, <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2011/08/24/plastic-crates-used-primary-school-toys-for-15-years-banned-health-safety/" target="_blank">claiming it was worried about children injuring themselves! </a>Teacher Anne Bardsley reckoned the crate decision was crackers, and says the children have been very upset by the move…</p>
- Boy banned by police from playing football outside his house
Poor Bertie Longworth, eight, was given a stern talking to by police after <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2012/04/04/boy-banned-by-police-from-playing-football-outside-his-house/" target="_blank">neighbours complained he was kicking his football too loudly!</a> He was told off for making too much noise with his ball and banned from playing with it on the pavement outside his house!</p>
- Parents need planning permission to build Wendy house
A couple in Wiltshire were left scratching their heads when they were <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2011/08/09/couple-told-to-apply-for-planning-permission-for-six-year-olds/" target="_blank">told they needed to secure planning permission</a> before they could build a Wendy house for their daughter. Sally and Brook Johnson told reporters they were “flabbergasted” when they received a letter to apply for retrospective planning permission for the play house in the grounds of their £1million country house.</p>
- Seven-year-old cannot fly pirate flag
Poor Anthony Steele loved playing pirates in his garden…until his <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2012/03/01/seven-year-old-boy-told-he-cannot-fly-pirate-flag-in-garden-anthony-steele/" target="_blank">local council said he couldn’t fly his Jolly Roger flag</a> as it breached advertising regulations and could be seen as promoting piracy. Anthony’s mum, Sara was outraged when she was told the family had to remove to flag because someone had complained, and poor pirate Anthony was devastated. We’re very surprised he didn’t make East Lindsey District Council walk the plank…</p>