By Luke Miller
A secondary school in the UK has prohibited its students from speaking between lessons, with the threat of detention to those who dare to break the new rule.
A letter has been sent out to the parents at Ninestiles school in Acocks Green, Birmingham, saying the 11-18 year-old pupils will now be expected to move between lessons in complete silence.
“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,” says the letter. “This will ensure students arrive calmly and ready to learn and staff can give out any information they need to swiftly and easily.”
The letter stated “all student movement including to and from assembly, at lesson changeover and towards communal areas at break and lunch” needs to be in silence, however, there will be areas in which the students can talk at break and lunch times. “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,” the letter said.
Parents are already criticising the announcement, with one parent, telling BirminghamLive, that she cannot understand the sudden change. “It alienates young people and makes school feel like a prison rather than a place of learning,” she said. “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.”
The headteachers Alex Hughes and Andrea Stephens have defended their new policy, but also agreed that it would be reviewed at the end of the term. “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.”
IMAGE CREDIT: dolgachov