Schools in the UK have started employing hired muscle in order to control rowdy classrooms across the country.

A London teacher revealed at the annual conference of the National Union of Teachers that bouncers were being taken on as supervisory staff to instil discipline in children and oversee crowd control. The initiative comes just months after a national call for more male teachers in British schools, after a study found that many teenage boys lacked a male role model to look up to.

One bouncer, initially taken on in one school as a part-time substitute teacher, has now been given a permanent role and is employed for a reported 20,000 pounds a year, according to the BBC. Although not qualified as a teacher, the bouncer monitors classrooms and supervises work prepared by other teaching staff.

The need for tough supervisors in schools is not just restricted to the London area. In the midlands, Aspire People has begun actively recruiting “hard core” cover teachers from military and service backgrounds. Adverts ask for ex-marines, prison officers, police and fire service men, as well as bouncers and security personnel.

Although the idea has been welcomed by some teachers, others are suspicious that the scheme is merely a foil for cost-cutting exercises. Derek McMillan, a teacher in West Sussex told the BBC: “They are doing a teacher’s job for a cleaner’s wage”.

Other teachers, such as Andrew Baisley said that there was much more to teaching than being stern and loud: “I think there’s something questionable about thinking that that sort of skill is appropriate in a school… If a member of staff is away you don’t want just any teacher, you want someone from that subject who can interact with the children and advise them and so on.”

The idea was adopted from a test scheme from Japan, which has had marked success on improving discipline in schools.