Stubborn teachers who hold back classroom progress must be sacked as the first step in tackling failing schools, according to a report published today.
Unruly pupils should face immediate action under tough measures to restore discipline, the study from a leading headteachers' association said.
The report is based on the Government's own research and advice into the benefits of weak comprehensives being taken over by top schools to improve standards.
The report, Achieving More Together, was written by Robert Hill, a former adviser to Tony Blair, and published by the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL).
The study said that staff from the lead school should "saturate" the weaker school and enforce changes in the first days of a takeover.
It said: "The lead school will conduct a short analysis and confront the partner school with the realities of the situation and the underlying problems that have been ducked.
"They will identify staff who are in effect hardened blockers of progress and deal with them.
"In some cases individuals in the underperforming school will recognise that the increased expectations and pace are too much for them and leave without the need for formal procedures.
"But others may have to be persuaded or required to go - though the number of 'casualties' in terms of staff (and students) is often relatively small."
The Government's researchers described the takeover process as "wiping the memory of the partner school and reprogramming it".
ASCL general secretary John Dunford said most weak teachers "jump before they are pushed".
"If a school is underperforming the head and the governing body have to take a tough line," he said.
He said imposing strict discipline policies on failing schools proved popular with most pupils who want to learn in well-ordered classes.
"The very top of the list of priorities to turn around an underperforming school is pupil behaviour and ever head in this situation will set out very clear behaviour guidelines," he said.
In September, Children's Secretary Ed Balls announced that between £120,000 and £300,000 would be available for top schools that agreed to merge with a failing schools.
A spokesman for the Department for Children, Schools and Families said: "We completely agree that collaboration between schools, colleges and universities is a great way to raise standards and there are several ways we encourage and fund this co-operation.