SHE has vowed to root out problem pupils at a Huddersfield school.

And new head Carol Gormley is unrepentant - after excluding 23 pupils in her first five days at Colne Valley High School.

Ms Gormley is being backed by staff and governors with her no-nonsense approach at the Linthwaite school.

Ms Gormley took over as head teacher after the retirement of Mrs Linda Wright.

New head courts controversy after excluding 23 pupils

A NEW headteacher has defended her decision to exclude 23 pupils in her first week at the school.

Carol Gormley said a “purge” was long overdue at Colne Valley High School and specialist arts college and she stressed that her response was always “fair and consistent”.

Ms Gormley started work at Colne Valley last Monday following the retirement of the former head Linda Wright.

By last Friday 23 students had been excluded for fixed terms.

Ms Gormley said the exclusions had been for swearing at staff or refusing to carry out instructions.

But the new regime at the school in Gilroyd Lane, Linthwaite, has not met with universal approval.

Parent Mandy Lutz said her daughter Cara was suspended for two days last Friday for wearing a hooded top in school.

Mrs Lutz said she felt the action taken was “excessive” and she had heard that the majority of suspensions were for “minor” incidents such as being five minutes late for lessons, wearing jackets in school, piercings not covered over and swearing among pupils.

“This is a very important time of year for many students, Cara included, as they have only give weeks left now until the start of the final exams.

“While I don’t agree in principal with the way Cara behaved it just seems a bit out of the ordinary to have so many suspensions.”

Mrs Lutz, of Southern Road, Cowlersley said her 17-year-old son Scott had also attended Colne Valley and had experienced no problems there.

Ms Gormley said: “ A purge at the school was long overdue and I have been overwhelmed by the positive way in which my actions have been received by staff and governors.

“While I would prefer not to comment on individual cases, I will say that the school’s response to incidents is always fair and consistent and take into account a student’s prior record.”

Ms Gormley was previously acting head and assistant head at Bradfield School in Sheffield.

The school will be featured in the Examiner’s Schools in the Spotlight series in the next few weeks.

Colne Valley High School celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2006

The school is one of the larger high schools in the area with 1,450 students on the roll

Exam results have improved gradually over the past four years

The school results have been above the average for both Kirklees and for England as a whole

A huge investment in new community sports facilities was completed and opened last year.