STUDENTS were separated from their peers and made to work in the school hall on the first day of term as a school cracked down on new regulations.

Pupils from Avonbourne Girls’ Academy and the newly named Avonbourne Boys’ Academy, formerly Harewood College, were sanctioned for inappropriate uniform, incorrect equipment and unacceptable haircuts.

A spokesman for the two schools said: “The new academic year has started well at both Avonbourne Boys and Avonbourne Girls academies.

“We have introduced a stronger adherence to the uniform rules which has been welcomed and supported by the vast majority of the school community. The sanctions in place for those who do not adhere are appropriate and do not impact on the children’s learning.”

At the end of last term and during the summer holiday, parents and pupils at both Bournemouth schools were given information about the uniform and haircuts acceptable for the new academic year.

Several pupils at both schools turned up for the new term with inappropriate uniform and received sanctions, the school said.

Students who did not adhere to the rules spent the day working a full curriculum in the school hall.

Parents claimed one boy in year seven was separated from his classmates for not having his shirt tucked in, while a girl was also told to attend the alternative lesson in the school’s hall for having a 15cm ruler instead of the required 30cm.

The school has recently joined the United Learning Multi Academy Trust, which also runs Carter Community School in Poole and Glenmoor and Winton Academies in Bournemouth. The trust’s executive principal is Richard Tutt, former Magna Academy principal who was dubbed Britain’s "strictest head teacher".

Parents and former pupils have voiced both criticism and support of the regulations.

A post on popular Southbourne based community Facebook page SoBo received hundreds of comments in a matter of hours before the feed was shut down at 500 comments.

Jaymi Darragh said: “My son was given a mark on his slip of paper for not having a 30cm ruler…his was 15cm. First day back and when I went in today to speak about his treatment today, I was told to send an email, and someone will get back to me… a lot of angry parents there today."

Other parents supported the approach.

The boys’ school was rated as inadequate in a report published by Ofsted in March this year, with “bullying and intimidating behaviour” highlighted and scoring the lowest possible rating in every category.

Sarah Griffiths Burbidge said: “Well done Avonbourne, looks like you are making a difference. Teaching the children to have respect for their teachers and respect for their time to learn sounds great."

Jonathan David Bond said: “This man’s reputation speaks for itself. Unfortunately, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and a lot of parents need to be honest with themselves about their child’s behaviour.

“School isn’t a jolly. I for one don’t want my daughter to be disrupted in class so she can’t learn. I fully support this man and let’s face it these schools need the help so let’s support the changes!”

The school has held "drop-in" sessions for those who have wanted further clarification, support or to give feedback, of which most has been predominantly positive.