Hartlepool school’s new principal launches crackdown on bad behaviour

Manor Community Academy has appointed a new principal.
Manor Community Academy has appointed a new principal.

The new principal of a Hartlepool school has said he will not tolerate rule-breakers after a crackdown saw several pupils excluded.

Lee Kirtley has been appointed as principal of Manor Community Academy and started in his new role last week.

Lee Kirtley has been appointed as principal at the school.

Lee Kirtley has been appointed as principal at the school.

Following his appointment, ‘a small percentage’ of pupils were excluded for a day on Monday and Tuesday after refusing to comply with rules and requests from staff.

The exclusions come as the school looks to renewed emphasis on its existing Behaviour Policy to stop a minority of pupils disrupting learning for others.

The school says there has already been an improvement and exclusions for disruption in lessons have fallen.

Mr Kirtley said: “I am already very proud of the students here at Manor.

“The very best schools have high expectations of their students and our students deserve nothing less. 
“The overwhelming majority have responded positively with the renewed emphasis on our existing Behaviour Policy.”

Issues in school have included disruption in lessons, mobile phones, make-up and uniform. 
Mr Kirtley added: “Students are aware, and appreciate, that the rules in place are there to remove barriers to their learning.

“I want conversations in school to be about student’s learning and not about mobile phones, make-up and uniform.

“I would like to thank the parents that have been in touch with the Academy to offer their support for our high expectations.

“Parents understandably tell me that they do not want the actions of a minority to affect the learning of the majority.

“As principal and a parent myself I strongly support this view.”

The school said the exclusion pupils is not a decision that is taken lightly, but say such measures have shown an improved attitude towards learning.

Mr Kirley added: “A decision to exclude is never taken lightly, however, a small percentage of students were excluded from school on Monday - and fewer still on Tuesday - for refusal to comply with a reasonable request. Students returning to school from exclusion have had a very positive day.

“It is important to note that exclusions for disruption in lessons have fallen, with students showing an improved attitude towards learning in lessons.

“I am confident that our adherence to the Behaviour Policy will continue to result in fewer disruptions to learning and fewer exclusions so that all students are in school learning.

“This improvement in behaviour in lessons, combined with staff implementing proven strategies in the classroom, has already led to an improvement in students’ learning.”

Meanwhile executive principal Andrew Jordan has said the new appointment of Mr Kirtley will drive forward educational standards at Manor.

He said: “We are incredibly fortunate to have secured the services of a Principal with experience and pedigree in school improvement to drive forward educational standards at Manor Community Academy.

“We do not apologise for having high standards or high expectations.

“Conversations about uniform, jewellery, make-up and mobile phones are a distraction.

“In outstanding schools, most conversations are about learning. 
“Our children deserve an outstanding education and we are determined to provide it.

“It is clear that students value the clarity that we are providing in terms of expectations and that they now find they are able to concentrate on learning in the classroom in order to fulfil their potential in the future.

“The outcomes focussed, child centered approach which underpins our drive for school improvement is already having a palpable effect on life chances of the young people at Manor Community Academy.”