Two learning assistants were singled out by inspectors at the Trosnant Junior School in Havant, Hamps, for their heavy local accents and grammatical inaccuracy, which they said were setting a bad example to pupils.At last! This’ll gladden Steve Shark’s day!
Now the school’s head, Jim Hartley, is to draft in a consultant to help them brush up on the way they speak.Clearly, no cutbacks affecting this school…
Mr Hartley admitted there was a problem with 'Pompey' slang at his school after it was served with a 'notice to improve'. The Ofsted report highlighted that “adults do not always demonstrate grammatical accuracy in speaking and writing. This sets a bad example and limits pupils' progress".You know, I can’t help but think that this is hardly the only school with such a problem….
"This is not denigrating the Pompey accent or dialect - we are all proud of where we come from.This will no doubt come as a shock. As will this:
"I accept however that bad grammar is not acceptable in the classroom which is why we have taken the inspectors' criticisms constructively.
"We will be bringing in a consultant to work with two of our learning assistants to enable them to use the Queen's English in the classroom."
Mr Hartley, who declined to name the assistants in order to protect their identity, said the problem was on a par with other mistakes like bad spelling “that you would expect teachers to correct.”I would indeed expect teachers to correct it, but then, for many years, the policy of ‘not stifling their self-esteem’ has held sway. As we hear from bloggers like Dick Puddlecote and the wonderful Miss Snuffalupagus (who has sadly now closed her enthralling blog).
So forgive me for being sceptical…
He said: “A lot of our children come from Portsmouth and have a Portsmouth accent.But we can allow them to say things like ‘innit?’ and ‘aks’..?
"But we need to be able to hear it for ourselves to help them. We can't let them say things like 'I likes football'.
Because certainly, no-one’s ever bothered to pick up any of the schoolchildren I’ve ever been unfortunate enough to come across on my morning commute. So I wonder why?
Is the Pompey accent and slang somehow more offensive, or could there be some other reason?