Black Country dialect 'ban'

A headteacher in the Black Country has been criticised for banning school students from speaking in their local dialect.

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Head asks parents to support dialect ban at home

A headteacher from the Black Country who has banned pupils from using colloqialisms in the classroom has urged parents to back the move.

John White, head of Colley Lane Community Primary School in Halesowen, has sent pupils home with a "supporting booklet" explaining the decision to ban certain phrases, in the hope they will support the move at home as well.

We'd been looking at our literacy standards and we wanted to talk to parents about some of the confusion that happens when children are talking in slang to their mates in the playground.

When it comes to phonics and English lessons it can be very confusing for the children.

When they are reading phonics, it's incorrect, so we think it's better for them this way.

– Headteacher John White, Colley Lane Community Primary School

Full list of Black Country phrases 'banned' by school

A list of "banned" colloquialisms used by people in the Black Country has been drawn up by a Halesowen school.

In a letter to parents, Colley Lane Community Primary School headteacher John White says the phrases were "damaging" and are no longer allowed in the classroom.

  • 'They was' instead of 'they were.'
  • 'I cor do that' instead of 'I can't do that.'
  • 'Ya' instead of 'you.'
  • 'Gonna' instead of 'going to.'
  • 'Woz' instead of 'was.'
  • 'I day' instead of 'I didn't.'
  • 'I ain't' instead of 'I haven't.'
  • 'Somefink' instead of 'something.'
  • 'It wor me' instead of 'it wasn't me.'
  • 'Ay?' instead of 'pardon?'

Black Country headteacher defends dialect ban in class

The headteacher of a Black Country school has defended banning the local dialect from classrooms, saying it will help raise literacy standards.

John White said the school had decided to ban the dialect from lessons or otherwise put at risk the future prospects of its 600 pupils.

The measure, which came into force at Colley Lane Community Primary School in Halesowen at the start of the term, is accompanied by a guide explaining to parents the reasons for the ban.

Some mothers and fathers have reportedly criticised the step as an attack on Black Country culture.