A SCHOOL previously criticised for its heavy-handed approach to discipline has once again come under fire after advertising for a director of isolations and detentions.

Leading the operation in the purpose-built Behaviour Correction Unit at Magna Academy from September, the newly appointed member of the school's pastoral team will take a 'tough love' approach to pupils isolated from their peers, agreeing that "children should be respectful and obedient at all times".

The advert states: "If you believe in a strong, ‘tough love’ approach to discipline, no excuses and that children should be respectful and obedient at all times then this may be the role for you.

"The role is suitable for a strong disciplinarian who believes that a culture of excellent behaviour and respect is crucial to the development of children and central to maximising their life chances.

"The role is not suitable for someone who wants to be every student’s best friend, who may be willing to accept excuses for poor or disrespectful behaviour, potentially damaging the future life chances of children from any type of background, however challenging."

It adds: "Our Academy is a vibrant and exciting place to work and was graded as outstanding in all areas by Ofsted in June 2015. In 2016, Magna achieved a Progress 8 score of 0.52, placing us well within the top 5% of highest performing schools nationally. We have a desire to be in the top 1%.

"The post-holder will be a member of a very high performing, aligned pastoral support team.

"You must fully believe in our philosophy that that every child can achieve academically at the highest level, no matter what their starting point, and have the determination to make this happen.

"We believe that the best form of pastoral care that we can provide is to ensure that students leave us with the best set of qualifications possible."

One parent, who asked not to be named, told the Daily Echo that the advert seems "fanatical" and "smacks of bootcamp".

"You have got to have rules and a lot of children respond to the boundaries but there are occasions where it goes beyond that," the man said.

"There is a difference between discipline and humiliation and I wonder if is it going to come out on a psychiatrist's sofa later in life."

The man said that they had also recently been informed that the school has begun "naming and shaming" pupils who do not perform as well as their peers and have their photographs displayed in the hallway.

"It highlights which children are below their ideal attainment," he said. "To me that is one way of guaranteeing humiliation.

"They have tough sanctions which don't work for a lot of the children and some are frightened - it is having the opposite effect."

Responding to the Daily Echo's requests for comment on the job advert, a statement issued by the school said: "We have a very small number of students who persistently cause low level disruption to learning in lessons.

"In order that they do not disrupt other students' learning, these students will be schooled in the Behaviour Correction Unit. Placement will be for specified amounts of time, according to the type and level of disruption and to the subsequent impact on others' learning.

Letter response from Magna Academy.doc

"While present in the unit, our learners will follow a structured programme of study to ensure that they continue to make outstanding progress. Our plans are that, after a specified amount of time, students will be welcomed and re-integrated back into main lessons.

"The reason why this post has been created is simply to allow all our teaching staff the freedom to teach 100 per cent of the time and to ensure that no learning time is 'stolen' from our students, the vast majority of whom are excellent learners.

"It is important to add in closing that, at Magna Academy, we value all of our students equally and we strive relentlessly to provide them with the best educational experience in a highly supportive and caring environment."

Magna's strict rules

THE job as advertised by Magna Academy is the latest example of strong discipline exhibited by the school.

As previously reported school children have been subjected to a range of tough rules as the ‘outstanding’ school strives to gain good results.

Badly-behaved children have been made to stand up in assembly and apologise to their peers for “letting them down and impacting negatively on their life chances”.

Others receiving a fixed term external exclusion must take along a parent or guardian on the day they return to school where they will be monitored.

And some have been taken out of lessons for pencil case equipment infractions. As reported in 2015, more than 40 children were thought to have been removed from classrooms and placed into another room in silence until their parents brought in the correct piece of equipment.

Children are also not permitted to speak to one another between lessons as they move between the corridors and must have their pencil cases in hand ready for their next lesson.