A parent has defended a school's move to bring in a headteacher known as one of the strictest in Britain, saying he has helped improve behaviour standards.

Education consultant and former headteacher Barry Smith has recently been working in a coaching role to support Stowupland High School, near Stowmarket.

The school received a 'requires improvement' Ofsted rating in December after an inspection last January found that behaviour issues were not consistently addressed. 

One parent, whose 13-year-old son attends the school, has said there has been improvements in children's behaviour in the classroom and overall in school, and has warned of the dangers of rumours online.

He said: "I think asking children to say 'sir', enforcing uniform rules, and not allowing children to disrupt lessons is not asking for much.

"These are basic manners. I do not see how these are 'military-esque'.

"They are expected to walk on the left and are challenged for loitering, which is keeping behaviour under check."

He added that there has been a decrease in poor behaviour from pupils: "I believe the main thing that was lacking in school was the behaviour of the children, which teachers did not feel empowered to do anything about.

"The systems in place were not really being followed, but Mr Smith is there to consult and empower teachers to enforce behavioural standards.

"We have only seen positive outcomes in the level of behaviour in school since Mr Smith's arrival. 

East Anglian Daily Times: The school received a Requires Improvement rating last year.The school received a Requires Improvement rating last year. (Image: Newsquest)

"Many children have realised that being naughty will be punished now so most children are getting on in class and not disrupting lessons.

"I understand that there are concerns that children are forced to make eye contact or shake hands, but from what we have experienced he will ask to shake hands, and no child will get in trouble if they don't."

A spokesperson for the John Milton Academy Trust, which runs the school, previously said the school wishes to develop "a warm, friendly and polite environment" where students can "learn, achieve and flourish".