Walderslade Girls' School Head Sends Kids Home With Letter Slamming Parents For Fuelling Bad Behaviour

Louise McGowan has resigned from her post.

12/05/2017 10:27 | Updated 16 May 2017

A headteacher has sent her pupils home with a letter blaming their parents for unruly kids “ruining” the school.

Louise McGowan, who is due to leave her position as head of Walderslade Girls’ School, in Chatham, Kent, this summer, has urged parents to instil more discipline after five pupils were expelled.

McGowan claims some parents actively fought against the school and refused to back efforts to implement sanctions and punishments for their children’s poor behaviour.

“It is simply not acceptable for a parent to argue when their child has clearly been in the wrong, has broken rules and found to have misbehaved or been rude,” states the letter, which was sent home with children.

“Arguing and making excuses for their child only serves to fuel the undesirable behaviour.”

KMG / SWNScom

McGowan claims lack of support from parents has made teachers’ jobs extremely difficult and served to “empower” children’s poor attitudes and behaviour rather than to correct them.

“We had several incidents where parents actively fought on behalf of the child against the school, even when it has been found through investigation evidence their child was in breach of the behaviour policy,” she said.

The head wants to leave “the house in good order” as she has quit her job due to ill health after undergoing kidney surgery.

“I love my job, but it does require immense stamina,” she said.

“I am not on my knees but I have been in poor health. It has left me having to evaluate what I can do.

“After coming back after kidney surgery, I decided I wanted to sort out behavioural problems. I had a bee in my bonnet about it.

“I want to ensure I leave the house in good order.”

KMG / SWNScom

During McGowan’s five year stint as head she implemented a tough “no-excuse” stance on bad behaviour and has banned all pupils from bringing in electronic devices.

In a letter sent to parents the head said: “The fact five students this year have lost their places is unprecedented but I will not tolerate and never will tolerate extremes of poor behaviour that risk spoiling the school and the valuable education it provides for the majority of really wonderful students that attend here.

“More students now are ignoring the school’s rules on use of mobile phones, choosing to openly use them in front of staff without fear of consequence, refusing to comply with instructions to put them away and often refusing confiscations.”

The crackdown came after a “host of unpleasant and quite frankly inexcusable attitudes from children, often starting at younger ages and worsening as children grow through teenage years”.

Walderslade received a “good” rating from Ofsted in March 2014 and inspectors said the pupil’s behaviour had “improved”.

McGowan confirmed that the behaviour of most pupils has always been “exemplary”. But in recent months there has been “a growing number of students who do not believe the school has a role or a right” to tackle bad behaviour.

The council has been approached for a comment.

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