ENERGY drinks and mobile phones will be banned and a punctuality drive launched, in a bid to raise standards at a North-East school.

Longfield Academy in Darlington, which recently merged with top-performing Hurworth, has introduced a back-to-basics campaign aimed at improving behaviour and standards.

New head teacher Nick Lindsay is to introduce a traditional 'values charter' for pupils at the Darlington school.

The school became part of a multi-academy trust after its head teacher and deputy resigned within weeks of each other last year.

It will now have a charter based around 'fundamental British life values' including democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs.

Measures will include extending the school day by 20 minutes to allow time for personal development, a ban on energy drinks, and providing safe storage for all mobile phones so they are handed in at the start of the school day and not used until home time.

Parents are also being given 12 weeks' notice of changes to the school uniform.

Mr Lindsay said: "We have to have standards and pride – and pride comes from being punctual, well-presented and ready to engage."

Mr Lindsay has just been confirmed as head after a reorganisation which saw Longfield become part of the Swift Academies Trust, along with Hurworth and the Rydal Academy primary school.

He said he saw 'huge potential' among Longfield students but said standards and behaviour needed to be addressed to boost academic performance.

He said phones were a distraction and anxiety and noone would be allowed access to them in school hours.

"It's the same with energy drinks, which are bad for you," he said.

"We want to school to be an oasis of calm and concentration."

Longfield will also have support in place for the more vulnerable families, and counselling, emotional help and special education needs would also be improved.

Mortgages and money management will also be taught, while a new rewards system will see good pupils come in with a chance to have their prom tickets already paid for.

What do you think of the school's stance on mobile phones and energy drinks?

What do you think of the school's stance on mobile phones and energy drinks? Let us know...

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Your comments:

Name supplied: "I think phones should be banned from school but allowed to be carried by the pupil because the streets are not as safe as they were when I went to school (with no phone). A strict code to ensure the phone is switched off until home time and anyone caught using one would face suspension. This way you would avoid charges for claims for "damaged phones while in storage".

"It would be easy to see a pupil in a class using a phone so for those pupils who may "purposely" use them to get a suspension, whilst they are a waste of the teachers' time, (I am sure the teachers know who they would be), then they should be dealt with in a different way. i.e.  no suspension but a total ban on bringing a phone onto the premises and searched on arrival at school. They will soon stop messing about!  

"As for energy drinks, I fail to see how we have ever allowed them in the first place. Seriously bad for the health!"