Mum reacts to silence rule
MUM KEEPS STUDENT SON OFF SCHOOL AFTER BAN ON TALKING IN CORRIDORS
A MUM is teaching her 14- year- old son at home – after pulling him out of school in a protest against pupils being forced to walk in silence.
Mother- of- four Jennifer Kearns has been schooling her son in their dining room since November 5, when Ninestiles, An Academy in Acocks Green introduced so- called ‘ silent corridors’.
Jennifer, who suffers from health issues and can barely walk due to a crippling spinal disorder, says: “I just had to take him out of that environment because it wouldn’t have suited him. Due to previous issues at home it took him a while for him to talk and, with that in mind, banning kids from communication would, in my opinion, have been a backwards step.
“Communication and speaking to people is the biggest skill a child can learn. Children should be sharing their experiences at school. I’ve spoken to dozens of fellow parents, teachers, ex- teachers and only three people I’ve spoken to agree with Ninestiles’ policy, that silent corridors are actually a positive thing.”
Jennifer’s son remains a Year 9 student at Ninestiles, with the only differ- ence being that the teenager is taught by his mum at home.
“We get up, as normal, at 7am,” explains Jennifer, 43. “He gets his uniform on and we start around 9.30am to 10 o’clock after I’ve dropped my daughter to school and I’ve had a cup of tea.
“It’s pretty full on. I get sent science work, coursework, booklets and lesson plans from some of the teachers at the school.
“I’ve spent a fortune on paper and ink. Some of the work can be web- based, too. And we’ve spent money on buying secondhand books.
“We fly through the work and we’re done by 12.30pm to 1pm. It’s great to be involved in his education. It’s fab. He’s a totally different child to when he used to come home from school.
“At some of the parents’ evenings I used to go to, I wanted to be informed on how he’d been doing but I felt I was locked out of his learning, not knowing how he’d been getting on.”
Jennifer remains adamant her son will not return to Ninestiles, An Academy while the strict noise ban between lessons remains in place.
Last month, school chiefs apologised to parents over a “lack of consultation” regarding the introduction of silent cor- ridors. Alex Hughes, acting co- head of the school, said: “It would not be appropriate for us to comment on an individual child. Whenever we have cases where a child is not present in the classroom for a period of time we will support their ongoing progress by providing work in line with the school curriculum, regular parental contact and expert advice and guidance on how to best cater for their developing needs.
“We are pleased to report that we are working closely with our students to continue to phase in the silent transitions. Student feedback has demonstrated that the significant majority understand the rationale for the policy and that staff and students alike have seen lessons start more promptly and with more purpose.”
Jennifer Kearns has take her son out of Ninestiles, An Academy after the school introduced silent corridors