The Telegraph is reporting that a Midlands primary school has been accused of snobbery after banning pupils from talking or writing in their “damaging” Black Country dialect…
Staff have drawn up a list of ten offending phrases after introducing the “zero tolerance” policy against the use of local words.
The controversial ruling was announced in a letter to parents claiming the harsh crackdown would “get children out of the habit” of speaking the way their parents do.
But parents and local residents have criticised the move by Colley Lane Primary School, in Halesowen, West Mids, as “snobbish”.
The ban comes two months after a study was published claiming that accents from the Birmingham area make people seem less intelligent and untrustworthy.
Outlawed phrases now include “I cor do that” instead of “I can’t do that” and “It wor me” instead of “it wasn’t me.”
The letter, which was posted to parents last Thursday, said: “Recently we asked each class teacher to write a list of the top ten most damaging phrases used by children in the classroom.
“We are introducing a ‘zero tolerance’ in the classroom to get children out of the habit of using the phrases on the list.
“We want the children in our school to have the best start possible: Understanding when it is and is not acceptable to use slang and colloquial language.
“We value the local dialect but are encouraging children to learn the skill of turning it on and off in different situations.”
Parent reacted angrily, claiming that the Black Country ban was “insulting.”
…Yesterday the school, which caters for 592 pupils aged 4-11, defended outlawing local dialect saying Black Country words and phrases contributed to a “decline in standards.”
Headteacher John White said: “If they can’t say it, it is likely they can’t read it, and even less likely they can write it.
“We value the dialect but we want to encourage children to learn when to use and when not, like for a job interview. It is, of course, fine to use in other situations and we would celebrate that.”
The school was rated as either Good or Outstanding in a Ofsted inspection report in 2010.
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