There have been renewed calls for pupils who insult staff on the internet to be expelled, after a girls' school was hit by a Facebook bullying scandal.

30 pupils at Grey Coat Hospital School were suspended after signing up to a 'Hate Society' group on Facebook which criticised a teacher.

No defence

"In cyberspace, hundreds of people can laugh at a teacher or child's humiliation," Mary Bousted, the general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers told The Daily Telegraph.

"Some of these incidents can be really, really nasty. Young girls, in particular, can be very malicious.

"Teachers attacked in this way have no chance to defend themselves. Their professional and personal reputation can be left in tatters."

Teachers have always been there to be shot at, but the days of the note passed around are over with the likes of Facebook taking on the mantle of the social grudge.