Controversial headteacher Barry Smith to leave Inspiration Trust

Controversial head teacher Barry Smith is to leave the Great Yarmouth Charter Academy.

Schools Week previously revealed that Smith had not been in charge of running day-to-day activities at the school, in Norfolk, since early December.

Sources said it followed an incident involving the restraint of a pupil. Smith did not respond to a request for comment at the time.

A spokesperson for the Inspiration Trust, which runs the school, said today Smith played a “significant part in leading the changes to the culture and ethos of the academy”.

“During his time at Charter, the academy received a ‘Good’ rating from Ofsted, who noted that leaders had ‘established a culture where pupils feel that they can succeed, and staff believe that they can make a difference’.”

The trust will be recruiting a new principal in the near future to “continue the process of transformation and improvement”.

In the meantime, the school will continue to be run by executive principal Iain Mackintosh. The statement added: “They are supported by the fantastic team at Great Yarmouth Charter Academy and will continue the process of transformation and improvement commenced under Mr Smith. We will update parents and staff on the recruitment process in due course.”

Smith had been moved away from the day-to-day operations at the school and was working on a curriculum project for the trust.

Smith implemented a strict behaviour and uniform policy, including urging pupils to go to bed at 9pm and get up at 6.30am.

He also made national newspaper headlines following incidents including warning pupils they will be given a bucket to throw up in if they feel ill in class and banning “meet me at McDonald’s’ hairstyles.

Your thoughts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


  1. Worth pointing out, perhaps, that the allgation was investigated by the local authority’s delegated officer, and found to be without foundation. Not that I think this reporter much cares, given the tone of this piece.

    • J BERROW

      Absolutely agree with John Bald. No doubt all the naysayers will be rubbing their hands in glee at Barry Smith’s departure from Charter.
      Nobody who visited Charter during Barry’s time could have failed to have noticed the transformation of the school in such a short time for the better. In few other schools (apart from perhaps Michaela), could such clear and obvious results come from senior leaders’ willingness to sweat the details, to allow staff to teach and students to learn in a secure and dynamic environment. Controversial for…? telling students to get plenty of sleep, something all experts say is vital for physical and mental well-being in those of School age? Calling students out for inappropriate hairstyles, which would have them disciplined in many office environments? Really? Next up, it will be “controversial” to tell students to tuck their shirts in! Get real!