Fury as pupils are banned from raising their hands in class at secondary school

The Daily Express is reporting that a secondary school has banned pupils from raising their hands in class.

The practice of pupils’ raising their hands when they want to answer a question was described as an “age old practice” by the school, which will now force pupils to adopt a new ways of engaging with class discussions.

The Samworth Church Academy in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, claimed the traditional system was outdated and the same children answered questions.

Ironically, the school’s logo shows two figures with their hands in the air – despite pupils being banned from doing the same.

In a letter to parents, principal Barry Found wrote: “We have taken the decision at the academy to dispense with the age old ‘hands up to answer a question’ practice.

“We find that the same hands are going up and as such the teaching does not challenge and support the learning of all.”

More at: Fury as pupils are banned from raising their hands in class at secondary school

Do you agree with this secondary school’s new policy? Is this something you would implement in your school or classroom? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or via Twitter. ~ Meena

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Categories: Policy and Teaching.


  1. Nairb1

    Perfectly sensible policy. The Express will have attempted to bring their usual brand of hysterical reporting to the story and a few people will take notice. The comment by a parent is typical. Ill informed and fed by the current view that real expertise rests with the ‘ordinary person.’
    Has the head made an error. Yes, writing to parents about it. He should have just got on with a sensible policy.

  2. AssemblyTube

    SchoolsImprove It used to be as a teacher you could just make these decisions yourself. Now the “Academy” decides. No wonder teachers leave

  3. at2__1

    SchoolsImprove Only new aspect here is that it is school wide. I often request ‘no hands up’ and ‘hands up’ at different points in a lesson

  4. The head was wrong to make it mandatory – it should be up to each individual teacher depending on circumstances.  But the Express headline about it creating ‘fury’ is hysterical.  If such a mild, albeit mistaken, policy provokes ‘fury’, what kind of response is left for more serious problems (like a principal raiding the school’s finance)?  Lynching?  Burning at the stake?

  5. Nairb1

    Presumably in consultation with the teachers a desicion was made that this ‘no hands up’ principle is good pedagogical practice, which it is, and as a result it has become school policy. Like all school policies it is reasonable to expect all teachers to follow it. I don’t think we need to react to the Express’ use of ‘banned’, I doubt very much if that is what has happened. I’m also sure that if a pupil wishes to make a contribution in a lesson ‘hands up’ is perfectly acceptable.
    I work with several schools with exactly the same policy, the only difference being they didn’t feel it was necessary to write to parents and the increasingly ludicrous tabloid press didn’t see it as a story.

  6. wasateacher

    It is not a sensible policy to make this mandatory across the school.  Perhaps it is a response to having inexperienced and untrained teachers.  

    Experienced and trained teachers should be able to decide what is appropriate and this may change from lesson to lesson or even within a lesson.  For example, if the concern is that the same children put their hands up every time, thus undermining the confidence of other children, a rule might be that you only answer one question.  Or discuss in pairs….. or……  A professional, experienced teacher will have any number of different ways of dealing with it.

  7. little_mavis

    DavidWray Interesting that the comments by parents are actually a list of why schools do this. (And haven’t we done this for ages anyway?)

  8. Nairb1

    It’s perfectly sensible as a school policy, because it has a good pedagogical basis to it. It doesn’t prevent discussion and is easily as flexible as a ‘one answer only rule’ which actually can lead to poor questioning. The problem is caused by the press use of the word ‘banned’ and as a result people make ill-considered assumptions about a restrictive, authoritarian model.

  9. Doug_Lemov

    AdamWoodage I agree. no one tool is always correct. i am for giving teachers a variety of tools to use and apply.

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