A headteacher parachuted in to save a failing school was removed from power two days later following a revolt by furious parents and teachers.

Craig Tunstall, the £151,835 executive head teacher of the Gipsy Hill Federation, spent just 48 hours in charge of Oval Primary School before being ousted.

It is understood five children had been excluded under the new regime for minor "offences" such as not wearing a coat in the playground and not eating their school dinner.

The harsh discipline provoked outrage from parents and teachers, including deputy headteacher Jo Styles, who allegedly threatened to resign unless something was done.

Croydon Council stepped in and took back control of the school on Friday.

The council brokered a deal with the Gipsy Hill Federation, which manages three primary schools in Lambeth, to bring the school out of special measures after a damning Ofsted report at the end of last year.

The head teacher Ruth Johnston left the school on Wednesday, reportedly against the wishes of the board of governors and teachers and was replaced by the Gipsy Hill Federation.

Oval Primary School has more than 400 pupils, many of whom have special needs and some who do not have English as their first language.

Jon Ellacott, a parent of two children at the school, called for an inquiry.

In conversations with Addiscombe Councillor Sean Fitzsimmons he said he was very concerned about the climate at the school and how it was affecting his autistic son.

He said: "In those two days the Gipsy Hill Federation took charge they destroyed the school."

Speaking at the Cabinet at Croydon Town Hall, Coun Fitzsimmons said: "It's a shame, somehow a co-operative way of working with governors and parents was not able to achieve improvement in that school."

Tim Pollard, cabinet member for children, young people and learners, told the meeting arrangements would be in place after half term, but did not go into detail.

He said: "Clearly, it's very important as soon as the students are back from half term we get complete clarity with the parents so they understand what we are doing and why we are doing it."

A council spokeswoman said: "The council has a strong record of setting up partnerships with schools and has done so in the past. On this occasion it became clear the arrangement would not work and the authority took swift action to resolve it.

"We expect to announce new arrangements to be in place immediately after half term."