WEST Somerset College chiefs have backed down on plans to bring in a strict new protocol for students.

In December, a letter was sent home to parents warning that from January, outlining a number of measures to try and install discipline for Year 9s.

The letter signed by assistant headteacher Mary Cranna stated that pupils would be escorted to the toilet if they needed to go during lessons 'for their own safety', and that all Year 9’s were to line up in the tennis court at the start of the day, after morning break and after lunch, come rain or shine, to be escorted to lessons in silence.

But a follow up letter from headteacher Gregg Mockridge sent to parents last week states the leaders of the school have decided against implementing the new rules.

The latest letter home to parents states: "I am writing in follow up to the letter sent to you by Mrs Cranna at the end of the Autumn Term.

"Following careful refection over the holidays, we have decided not to instigate the proposed changes at the current time.

"We will, instead, use this term to gain more student voice and to gather data, which we will use to develop and inform our future plans.

"Unfortunately, we have been experiencing some damage to the toilets during lessons times, when students are not being supervised.

"Therefore, we will be recording which students leave lessons to use the toilet.

"We want the best for all students at the college; being on time for lessons and being fully equipped for the day, with the correct uniform, are key elements for this.

"We will be using tutor time to check student’s equipment and uniform on a daily basis.

"We have asked staff to record ‘minutes late’ for students who are not on time for lessons and they will be sanctioned with detentions when there is no reason for their lateness."