Birmingham school bans pupils from talking between lessons

As reported by the Guardian, a school in Acocks Green has made the controversial decision to ban pupils from speaking to one another between lessons

A secondary school in Birmingham has been met with criticism, following its decision to ban pupils from talking between lessons.

The pupils are being threatened with detention if they break this rule. Parents at the Ninestiles school in Acocks Green were informed that their children would be required to traverse the building in silence on returning from half term.

The letter stated:

‘We know that behaviour is already of a high standard but we want and expect more from our learners, and so, from Monday 5th November, students will move around the building in silence during change over times.

‘This will ensure students arrive calmly and ready to learn and staff can give out any information they need to swiftly and easily.’

The school said that ‘all student movement including to and from assembly, at lesson changeover and towards communal areas at break and lunch’ would be carried out in silence, but that pupils would be able to speak to each other in designated areas at break and lunch times.

The letter continued: ‘The sanction for breaking the silent corridor rule will initially be a 20-minute detention; any repeated failure to follow the school policy will result in an appropriate escalation of sanctions.’

An anonymous parent stated: “It alienates young people and makes school feel like a prison rather than a place of learning.

“Would any of us go to a workplace where this was the case? As a parent, I feel this is creating an environment that works against learning, against what the school is there to do, which is to educate, not control and punish.”

In a joint statement, acting co-headteachers Alex Hughes and Andrea Stephens defended the policy while adding that it will be reviewed at the end of the autumn term.

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“Ninestiles is committed to the highest standards of behaviour and we know that students arriving to lessons ready to learn can be further supported by doing so in silence at certain points in the day,” they said.

“This is already an expectation for arrival at exams and during fire drills and, as such, is simply an extension of that code of behaviour. We will review this change at the end of Term 2 and the views of our students, parents and carers will be welcomed as part of that process.”

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