Parents have spoken of their anger after schoolchildren were removed from lessons by the head teacher for breaking strict uniform rules.
Pupils at the Deepings School in Stamford, Lincolnshire, were taken out of class and put into isolation for various breaches of the policy – including some who were wearing the wrong kind of black socks.
Head teacher Alun Ebenezer sent out a reminder to parents last week that children should be wearing plain black ankle socks with no patterns or colours.
Up to 50 pupils fell foul of the code on Monday and were all taken out of class for the remainder of the day.
The excluded pupils at the school, which caters for 1,449 children aged 11-18, were ordered to spend the day in the “behaviour inclusion centre”.
Parents have accused Ebenezer of being “heavy handed” and running a "police state".
One dad, who asked not to be named, said: “The actions taken are completely unreasonable and have served only to disrupt my daughter’s education…
“I know there has to be standards but the punishment needs to be proportionate.”
Another dad, whose son was taken out for wearing the wrong socks, added: “They’re black socks with a very faint line in the design but apparently they weren’t ‘plain enough’ despite being hidden under trousers.
“It’s not just heavy-handed - it’s like some kind of police state.”
Despite anger from parents, Ebenezer, who was brought in as interim head over the summer, has defended his zero-tolerance policy, saying any slips in discipline "leads to carnage”.
He said: “The pupils who are put into the behaviour centre will be those who said they’re not going to follow the rules.
“I do think the little things matter and I’m not going to give up. We are trying to instil discipline and standards.”
Ebenezer said he also wants to improve standards in pupils’ manners, posture, speech and body language.
He added: There are just pockets of bad attitude which we are trying to change.
“With a significant number there is this idea that ‘I won’t do anything that I don’t want to do’.
“The most serious thing is open defiance because if everyone did that there would be carnage.”
Ofsted inspectors have twice rated the school as "requiring improvement".