A "VERY STRICT" Poole school with a high number of exclusions has been awarded the highest grade possible in its latest Ofsted inspection.

Inspectors said the very high standard of discipline expected at the Magna Academy has led to some parents removing their children from the school.

But they added: "Most parents are supportive of this approach but a minority feel it is inflexible. Some parents have removed their children from the school while others have been attracted to the school as a result of its distinctive approach to discipline."

The report, just released following a two-day inspection in December, went on: "There has been a relatively high number of exclusions over the last few years.

"This has largely been the result of the Principal's determination to eliminate poor behaviour and disruption in lessons.

"No one, from leaders and teachers through to pupils joining the school, is under any doubt as to expectations of them. Leaders insist that pupils walk silently between lessons so that they arrive on time and ready to learn at their next lesson."

Four individual categories - effectiveness of leadership and management; quality of teaching, learning and assessment; personal development, behaviour and welfare; and outcomes for pupils - were rated as Outstanding. The school's 16-19 study programmes were rated as Good, leading to an overall grade of Outstanding.

Lead inspector Andrew Lovett said: "Pupils make excellent progress from the time they join the school right through until they take their GCSEs.

"The quality of teaching is consistently very high. The result is that pupils are given work that challenges them and helps them gain knowledge rapidly.

"The small sixth form is changing in character from one that previously focused on vocational subjects to one that puts a greater weight on A levels. In this period of transition, progress in the sixth form is lower than in key stage 4 but standards are improving."

Magna Academy, in Canford Heath, has 825 pupils aged 11-18 and is led by Principal Richard Tutt, who has been labelled 'Britain's strictest headteacher' in national papers.

The school has come in for criticism over its strict rules after children were punished for having rulers that were too short, pencil cases that were too small and having one compass instead of the required two.

Mr Tutt said: "I am very proud of the students, staff, governors and parents/carers who made this report possible. The Magna community works very much as one team.

"Magna has always set itself very high academic standards. It has a mission to deliver what we refer to as a grammar school for all, which means we passionately believe in the right of every child to have access to a school committed to academic excellence − independent of background, prior attainment or needs.

"Every decision and action taken here is done so with the aim to ensure that every student can ‘climb their personal mountain’ – whether to university or to an equally aspirational alternative – so they are able to eventually thrive in a fulfilling job and have a great life."