Unchristian academy ethos

8th October 2004 at 01:00
I am not surprised by the high permanent exclusion rate at the Vardy Foundation's first academy, Kings, in Middlesbrough ("Academy profit from exclusion", TES, September 24).

The prospectus for the foundation's second academy, Trinity, in Doncaster, reveals a draconian discipline code. Two "acts" (of indiscipline) warrant immediate expulsion, and seven other "acts" mean a "final warning". A breach of a final warning results in expulsion. So a pupil caught smoking twice in uniform will be expelled.

One might have expected the "Christian" ethos of the academy to include a little compassion and patience for the misguided. The uniform includes a blazer which will be an unnecessary financial burden for many families of pupils joining the academy when it opens in September 2005.

The governors of Thorne grammar school (to be replaced by Trinity Academy) always tried to keep down uniform costs. The academy will provide a free blazer, badge, tie, trousers or skirt and sports top for all who transfer from Thorne grammar when it closes. Who will bear the cost (some pound;80,000) of this: Doncaster education authority, the Department for Education and Skills, or the Vardy Foundation?

Tony Brookes Head, Thorne grammar school, 1987-2002 Windyridge Fieldside, Doncaster

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