Parent claims children are being treated ‘worse than inmates’ at Doncaster school

De Warenne Academy in Conisbrough
De Warenne Academy in Conisbrough

A former prison guard, whose son attends a Doncaster school where strict new discipline and uniform rules have been introduced, is calling for a rule change as he believes pupils are being treated worse than prisoners at HMP Lindholme.

Rule changes at De Warenne Academy have caused dozens of parents to complain, and for some to consider organising a ‘school strike’

Former prison worker Wayne Goulding, whose son, Owen, attends De Warenne Academy says he is very concerned about the school’s ‘strict’ discipline rules and thinks students at the school need to be treated with more respect.
The 46-year-old, of Northcliffe Road, Conisbrough, said: “At least at Lindholme they’re only made to show their ID badge, but the kids there are being forced to go through this inspection line. It’s like military treatment, basically.


• Students at Doncaster school considering ‘walk-out’ over new discipline policy

“They’re punishing them for anything. My son was given detention for putting on a coat when it was raining, because it was blue and not black.

“He said another kid in his class was given detention for dropping a pen and distracting the kids when he picked it up.”

As of last Monday, female students are prohibited from wearing earrings or visible make-up, nail varnish, hair extensions or dying their hair any colour other than brown or black. 

Male pupils are no longer allowed to have their hair shaved at a number 0 or 1 standard, or with defined patterns cut into a longer style.

Some parents have also claimed that pupils at the school have been told girls are only allowed to have 25 or fewer curls in their hair because they are ‘too distracting’ to other youngsters.

A parent, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “Girls are being told that if they have too many curls in their hair they will be disciplined, because they’re too distracting to the other pupils.

“I think that’s really unfair because what if you have naturally curly hair, what do you do then?” Parents say that pupils are also being made to go through an ‘inspection 
line’ at the entrance of the school, where they claim children are made to give their bags to teachers to be searched. 

Some parents are now considering the possibility of a student strike over the new rules if the school fails to ‘meet them halfway’.

The school has denied the implementation of an ‘inspection line’ and has failed to comment on the other issues. 

Executive Principal Gareth Mason said: “I’d like to thank parents and carers for the support many have given to the change in the behaviour policy and the feedback given at a parents’ consultation evening. 

“We want to create a culture and a friendly atmosphere in the academy where teachers are focused on talking to students about their learning, their progress and the subject being taught.

“The new behaviour policy is available on the school website.

“Students are not being searched at the gate or anywhere else.

“We do welcome them to say good morning and greet them so they feel safe and secure in their learning environment.”