A HEADTEACHER has blasted parents for failing their kids and is now leaving the country after her school was branded “Colditz Academy” for being so strict.
Alison Colwell is calling for a clampdown on the behaviour of parents as well as pupils after being sworn at and threatened by British families.
Dubbed the strictest headteacher in the UK, Colwell once sent home 20 girls in one day for “flashing their thighs” in short skirts.
But after a barrage of abuse from aggressive parents at Ebbsfleet Academy, Swanscombe, Kent, she’s heading to Mallorca to run an international school.
She told The Sunday Times: “One parent, I am told, has already posted on social media that they have finally worn me down”, although she insists she hasn’t been driven out by a “tiny minority”.
Colwell has even been forced to call the police to remove abusive parents from her office and has been vilified on a community Facebook page that branded her school “Colditz Academy”.
PARENTS TO BLAME
The strict head blames lawless parents for the pupils’ unruly behaviour and says they’re dooming their children to failure.
Colwell said: “The most badly behaved children came from the most chaotic families.
“I once tried to tell a mother she was a bad parent. I got shouted and sworn at even more. It was not a strategy I tried again. My staff had to ask me if I was OK when she finished.”
She recalls how one parent “stood in reception and, in front of the children coming in, swore at me using ‘f***’ and ‘c***’”.
In her seven years at Ebbsfleet Academy, Colwell’s strict regime dramatically improved the performance of its 700 pupils.
You have always had difficult families, but with social media the abuse has got much, much worse, more prolific and more vicious
But the parents weren’t too impressed: “When we first opened the new academy with our new rules and our high standards and our uniform and our high expectations, there was a Facebook page that was really vicious.
“There were personal comments about me. It was really demoralising. That’s why I don’t read it or look at it any more.
“You have always had difficult families, but with social media the abuse has got much, much worse, more prolific and more vicious. It’s at a whole new level.”
The school’s uniform policy includes skirts climbing no higher than 5cm above the knee and a ban on heavy make-up or fake tan.
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There is also a strict ban on mobile phones, which are confiscated until the next school holiday.
Police had to be called when staff were physically threatened over the phone ban.
Colwell said: “That’s when we had some of the biggest confrontations with parents, because … they said we’d stolen them. And we said, no, we’ve confiscated them, and quoted the law.”
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