Pupils 'hungry and in tears' over 'military camp' rules at Bracknell secondary school

Pupils arriving back at Brakenhale School in September have reportedly found their lunch break shortened to 25 minutes. Credit: Google Maps

A secondary school in Bracknell has been described by parents as "a military camp" with strict rules said to be leaving children hungry, depressed, and anxious.

Just days into the new school year, many pupils and parents at Brakenhale School are in uproar - with one parent even suggesting there could soon be a protest at the school gates.

Pupils arriving back in September have reportedly found their lunch break shortened to 25 minutes, while new-starter Year 7s are said to have been left in tears by detentions for minor mistakes.

One parent, Keron Porter, said: "It feels like I might as well put our children in an army barracks or a military school. That's what in my mind the children have to suffer."

Speaking separately, another parent, Martin Wallbanks, said: "It's becoming like a military camp now," he said. "A lot of parents are saying the same thing."

Pupils have reported being told to throw their lunch in the bin to go and practise lining up at the end of a lunch break that has reportedly been cut almost in half since last year.

Parents of children at Brakenhale School were furious that students were allegedly made to wear their blazers during the heatwave last week. Credit: Google Maps

One pupil said: "The lines are always long anyway because there's loads of students always getting food. So you're queuing up for at least 10-15 minutes and then you only have a little time to eat and then you have to go and line up.

"Some people don't eat depending on how long the lines are. If you get there at the start of break, you might get food. If you weren't there right at the start you might not."

Parents were already furious when students were made to wear their full blazers at the height of a heatwave last week. Mr Wallbanks claimed his child "almost passed out" from the heat.

There was further outrage when Year 11 pupils were then allegedly told they would miss an entire lunch break to practise lining up. Pupils report being made to line up three times a day - including for 10 minutes at the end of lunch break.

Pupils are also made to carry a "culture card" - which teachers mark for minor infractions such as wearing the wrong colour socks. After two signatures, pupils are given a detention.

A pupil said: "I've seen so many Year 7s who have lost their culture card and they're crying. And they're getting detentions for it."

Mr Wallbanks added: "It's getting to the stage where parents are talking about taking action - standing outside protesting.

A spokesperson for Greenshaw Learning Trust, which runs the school, said: "We don't comment through the media on any issues relating to staff or pupils.

"If parents have concerns about any aspect of school life at Brakenhale, they should contact the school directly and any communications with parents are made directly."

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