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article imageSchool staff to be instructed in speaking and writing

By Lynn Curwin     Oct 3, 2010 in World
Havant - Some members of staff at a UK school will be provided with instruction in how to speak and write, after inspectors said they were setting a bad example for students.
After visiting Trosnant Junior School in Havant, Hampshire, education inspectors served it with a notice to improve and stated that two learning assistants were limiting the progress of pupils.
An English teacher is due to visit the school at a teaching training day.
The report stated: “Adults do not always demonstrate grammatical accuracy in speaking and writing. This sets a bad example and limits pupils’ progress.”
Jim Hartley, head teacher at the school, said that local slang was a problem amongst some teaching staff.
“The inspectors said it was the heavy accent, but it was the grammar as well. I don’t think they would have picked up on it if it was just a matter of the accent,” The Telegraph quoted him as saying.
“This is not denigrating the Pompey accent or dialect – we are all proud of where we come from. 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.”
He said that, as a head teacher, he needed to ensure children could read and write correctly, and he welcomes the report because it has pointed out the problem.
A spokeswoman from Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills, which inspected the school, was quoted by The Telegraph as saying: “As part of an Ofsted school inspection, inspectors evaluate the quality of teaching. They take into account regional accents and dialects but would expect all those involved in teaching to have a good grasp of grammar both orally and in writing.”
The report pointed out that improvement was also needed in relation to attendance and to the progress of the most-able pupils.
The news was not all bad for the school. The report stated that teaching was satisfactory overall, pupils behaved well and enjoyed being there, that overall teaching was satisfactory, and that the new head teacher is well-supported and providing a clear direction for improvement.
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