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Students banned from using slang in school

Students at an Academy in Sheffield have been banned from using slang words while at school in the hope that it will improve their standard of spoken English and their job prospects.

Slang is banned

Students at an Academy in Sheffield have been banned from using slang words while at school in the hope that it will improve their standard of spoken English and their job prospects.

Teachers at Sheffield's Springs Academy introduced the policy to encourage their pupils, aged from 11 to 18, to use only standard English inside the school gates. The trust that runs the academy said it wanted children to cut out slang words and phrases such as "hiya" and "cheers" in favour of the more correct "good morning", "goodbye" or "thank you".

With the rise of text messages and the social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, abbreviated forms of words have become popular. The trust said using standard English would give its 1,100 students, who study in a working class area of Sheffield, a better chance of impressing employers at interviews.

Kathy August, deputy chief executive of the United Learning Trust, said: "We want to make sure that our youngsters are not just leaving school with the necessary A to Cs in GCSEs but that they also have a whole range of employability skills”.

The trust said its policy on slang was part of its "street stops at the gate" ethos. It also asks sixth formers to dress in suits rather than school uniform to encourage professionalism.

However the move has been criticised by some who worry that the policy may pose a risk to dialects and accents. South Yorkshire MP Angela Smith, who previously taught GCSE English at a secondary school in Dearne Valley, South Yorks, said: "The school, is wrong to ban slang. How will the school police this? Who will say what the difference is between slang and dialect? It could completely undermine the confidence of the children at the school”.

Mrs August denied the school was trying to stamp out dialects or accents, and said it was only targeting slang words.

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