A TEACHING union today threw its weight behind a tough stance on school discipline.

Howard Roberts, Kirklees secretary of the National Union of Teachers, welcomed a crackdown on unruly behaviour in the classroom and corridors.

He spoke out after a wave of support for new Colne Valley High School head teacher Carol Gormley, who has excluded more than 30 pupils in her first two weeks in the post.

Ms Gormley said the exclusions were for fixed terms, usually of a few days, and were for incidents including swearing at teachers and being late for lessons.

Her strong action has been broadly welcomed by many in Huddersfield.

The Examiner has been inundated with letters and comments about the “zero tolerance” approach and most have backed Ms Gormley’s actions.

Mr Roberts said the biggest problem facing teachers at Huddersfield schools was the constant low level concerns of abuse, bad language and lack of civility.

He said: “It is not a problem of knives and guns, it is the low-level stuff that goes on that puts the staff under pressure.

“Our schools are not full of children who are saints but there is no place for bad language and people who cannot be civil. There needs to be a line drawn, a line of basic courtesy, good manners and common civility.

“Heads who do take a stand against the bad behaviour have the union’s support.

“Schools should be free of this behaviour and I am sure that would be welcomed by staff, children and their parents”.

He added: “We want teachers to be able to do their jobs in a civilised atmosphere and I am sure that is what the public would expect”.

Letters special on Colne Valley High’s School’s zero tolerance Pages 12 & 13