Basildon Academy in Essex, opened last year with almost 1,600 pupils at a cost of £45 million, was not doing well, according to this morning's newspaper.
Parents said graffiti covered the walls, there was little homework set, none of it was marked, and pupils would get up in the middle of class to go for a cigarette. Truancy, fighting, bullying and teachers unable to cope were commonplace.
Then a new headteacher took over.
On his first day he sent 109 pupils home for wearing wrong items of uniform. In three days he sent home 151 pupils. Scores were given detention and dozens put in an isolation centre.
Within 48 hours teachers reported they no longer had to practise "crowd control" and they had twice the amount of time for teaching.
Said the headteacher: "The change is just remarkable. The morale of the teachers is high, there is no bullying and the pupils are happy. And we are instilling good habits that will make them good citizens and employees."
Is it permissible to ask why someone didn't do this before?