Si­lence still the rule at school


Solihull News - - FRONT PAGE - ASH­LEY PREECE ash­ley. preece@ reach­plc. com

THE school at the cen­tre of a row over forc­ing stu­dents to walk to and from class in com­plete si­lence has apol­o­gised to par­ents.

Head­teach­ers at Ninestiles, An Acad­emy, though, is re­fus­ing to back down and will go ahead by en­forc­ing so- called silent cor­ri­dors as soon as chil­dren re­turn af­ter halfterm.

In a new let­ter sent out to con­cerned par­ents, co- heads An­drea Stephens and Alex Hughes apol­o­gised twice in the first two para­graphs.

The pair said they were “re­al­ists” and that silent cor­ri­dors would, on re­flec­tion, be phased in grad­u­ally at the school.

Last week, par­ents staged a twohour meet­ing with se­nior staff over con­cerns about the in­tro­duc­tion of the strict noise ban.

In an up­date posted on the Nines- tiles Par­ents Against Si­lence Face­book group, mum Su­san Hunter said: “I’m afraid to say we did not get the new si­lence rule abol­ished.

“We did, how­ever, have a very in­ter­est­ing dis­cus­sion with school.

“By no means did we agree with what they wanted from us, but this is as good as it gets right now.”

In a fresh state­ment is­sued last week, co- head­teach­ers at Ninestiles, An Acad­emy said: “We have had a help­ful, con­struc­tive and friendly dis­cus­sion about the im­ple­men­ta­tion of silent tran­si­tions.

“We lis­tened care­fully to par­ents’ con­cerns and ex­plained the benefits of silent tran­si­tions dur­ing times such as les­son changeover.

“Ex­pe­ri­ence else­where shows that, aca­dem­i­cally and so­cially, chil­dren are bet­ter pre­pared for les­sons, im­prov­ing punc­tu­al­ity and en­abling classes to start on time.

“This benefits stu­dents in­di­vid­u­ally, the whole class and the school gen­er­ally.

“We also ex­plained that this ap­proach will be in­tro­duced as planned on a phased ba­sis when stu­dents re­turn af­ter the half- term break when the pol­icy will ap­ply to clearly marked ar­eas so that we can learn from its in­tro­duc­tion.

“We will in­vite par­ents to meet with us again as part of the re­view process.

“We are com­mit­ted to sup­port­ing all stu­dents and en­sur­ing the best pos­si­ble ed­u­ca­tional out­comes.

“Our belief is that this ap­proach will en­hance the over­all en­vi­ron­ment and their ed­u­ca­tion.”

Mean­while, a pe­ti­tion to quell si­lence at Ninestiles, An Acad­emy has reached more than 1,000 sig­na­tures.

Jenny Kearns, who launched the pe­ti­tion, said: “My con­cerns stretch over many lev­els.

“My son, in Year 9, is in the start of his exam years and needs a good strong en­vi­ron­ment to learn and grow in.

“I’m wor­ried this move will dam­age our chil­dren.”

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