Analysis comment

North Korea comes to school: head tells pupils they must all smile and not pick up a pen or look out of window without permission

Head claims ‘most’ parents are in favour

A scene from North Korea – or from John Ferneley College?

A secondary school in Leicestershire has told parents that new rules to apply to their kids from September include always smiling, maintaining eye-contact with teachers, responding to command whistles – and not go to the toilet between classes, look out of the window or even pick up a pencil or ruler without permission. The rules instituted by the school’s new head are:

  • Always smile
  • respond to a series of whistle commands by staff
  • if spoken to by a teacher, respond in an ‘upbeat’ manner
  • wait for permission to pick up a pencil or ruler
  • enter the classroom in single file
  • ‘never forget to say Sir or Miss’
  • always sit up straight
  • not walk in groups of more than two
  • ‘thank your teacher for your lesson’
  • no looking out of windows during class
  • no turning round in class even if you hear a noise

Understandably, parents responded with dismay to the new rules, which are more reminiscent of North Korean oppression and ‘Brave New World’ thought control than school. One commented, “Tell me you’re turning children into robots without telling me you’re turning children into robots”, while another said, “The smile part is just wrong. You can’t be forced to smile at all times.”

The head has claimed that ‘most’ parents support the new rules and that they are preparation for adult life.

Maybe in Tory ‘One Britain One Nation’, but not in the real world. Schools are meant to teach children how to think, not what to think – let alone the consequences for mental health if children are obliged to hide their real feelings. Neurodiverse children, for example those with autism or others who might struggle to maintain eye-contact, are surely also directly discriminated against by such rules.

This country needs more dissent, not less.

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  1. Sounds like the catholic run secondary school I had the misfortune to attend in the 70s. Deference at all times to teachers or they landed on you like a ton of bricks. Its all about control. Eversince I have always had a cynical attitude towards authority figures. Clampits the lot of them.

    1. apologies off topic –

      HAPPY 50th BIRTHDAY to Julian Assange!!!

      despite ceaseless wicked sir starmer lies, “still” u and your supporters “rise”!!!

      bodies can be imprisoned, not minds.


    2. sure is stupid exeld It still happens a a lot of schools. Head teachers governor’s are ultra conformers.
      Yet in most of Europe children are treated as adults do not wear uniform are on first name terms with Teachers who are well trained child development.
      Finland number 1 in education league . Start school at 7 . no public exams until after 16 yrs age. no private schools just one good local school. teacher have 5 year education . The class Teacher remains with her or his students through out school. Specialist teachers come in for specialist subjects. Finland has been number 1 for years. Most of Europe is similar. The UK with their control and splintered education so called is about 18.

  2. Run by Christian Brothers aka ‘the Mafia’. Is that Judd or Ellie May Clampit?
    May I also suggest that dissent for its own sake is not a virtue?

    1. No Steve the Christian Brothers, nuns or priests had nothing to do with the dump. Lay teachers run the place and some, not all, behaved like thugs. What they did then would land them in jail now. The odd occasion I run into old class mates its always the same tales of random beatings and petty vindictive behaviour from the teachers that fill the conversation. As for which clampit try Jethro.

  3. That is one sire way to screw with children’s minds and damage them for life. In my view a child protection issue minimum of emotional abuse.
    and what happens to the children if they do not smile or dare to look out of a window. The people running this kind of torture chamber should have their license withdrawn.
    sorry for swearing.

  4. As soon as people drop Equality for ALL, they lost the battle, a child is a human as much as a 99 years old and deserves to be treated with equal respect. Western Educations and Conservativism is what is holding us back!
    They’re not creating the Future Leaders, they are creating The Bricks for the Wall, 2.5 Children, Work like a Machine, Desire all the same Commercialised/Materialist trash, dress the same, walk the same, talk the same, Go to Die in the same Greedmonger Wars, Just another disposable Brick in The Wall! Value=0
    Send your kids to learn the same lies we learnt without protest, or investing time to ensure your child can refute and stand up for the truth in class, and we will be Bricks nothing but Bricks!

    1. All religion is indoctrination and most of it depends upon bending the malleable minds of children. There should be no such thing as State run religious schools, if parents want their children indoctrinated, they can do it out of normal school hours but not before children are old enough to understand what’s happening to them.

      1. The entire philosophy of the west’s upbringing of children as something not equal, but less, that needs to give and show respect without being respected as an equal is damaging.
        The most horrendous thing is that most indoctrinated people will will just fall into place as the indoctrinators of their own children and forget all their own childhood angst as they inflict the same on their children with the common saying “Well look at me, it did me no harm!” Well actually it did, if you were to step out of your assembly line and meditate on your childhood to remember some of your most distinct punishments and confusion of the world around you, you will remember just what damage it did do.
        I don’t understand people, I fell of the assembly line when my Father read my first Children’s Bible story of a man who heard voices in his head and led to him taking his son to slaughter, but luckily stopped by an angel. I asked my father how did he know he had to kill his son, ‘God told him so’, how? ‘Well god speaks to us in many ways’, Do you hear god ‘yes, all the time’ *FUCK!*
        I spent most of my childhood hiding in my wardrobe or under my bed when they prayed at their bedside, I was petrified of them, did god speak to you today?, ‘yes’, what did he say? My father was overjoyed in my interest in the word of god, Nah Ah! I wanted to make sure the nutjob didn’t tell him to kill me!
        There was so much damage done because of the Mightier than though attitude of parents/teachers a Child filled with Anxiety learns nothing meaningful, it is not possible for the mammal brain to learn when Anxious!
        If I was the Communist Leader of The World 🙂 There would only be 2 Subjects on the Curriculum, The Human Mind (with How [not what] to think) and The Human Body. Everything else student led and purely on student’s own interests I would even consider going so far as to abolish schools and making Parents the Home School Teachers and Libraries the Place to mix and meet others.
        If children felt confident and equal to adults it would be much easier for them to communicate anything bad that happened, they would also be empowered with the word NO, I think we should give children: NO! FUCK YOU!

      2. SkellyKnelly, that is probably the BEST thing I have EVER read on Skwawkbox and agree 100% with EVERYTHING you posted.

    2. Don’t worry too much. Schools will soon be gone. The kids can look away from the computer and out of the windows as often as they like.Teaching on line the only way to stop diseased kids spreading death to our brave NUT. Long live our educationalists. They’ve got papers a mile long proving how much they love teaching our kids. Now get back in your rings or we are all going to die . In order to help during the crisis I, disabled and retired, volunteered to dig graves or load lorries. No positive responses yet. Ageist mortician bustards. Live well, live long, die alone. Ta ta.

      1. There is already software available for the detailed monitoring of home workers.

  5. South Sheilds CLP had rules similar to the School rules, laughable, like these below
    The raft of new rules include:
    – No comments under the breath or to members during meetings.
    – No raised voices or comments made in anger.
    – No dismissive body language, including eye-rolling, tutting or head
    shaking whilst someone is speaking.
    – No comments that make reference to personal characteristics, such as age,
    experience, gender or individual personal politics.
    -No action which may be interpreted as aggressive physical behaviour,
    regardless of whether that was the intent, for example, finger pointing at
    other members.
    A spokesman for Labour North said they would not be making any further comment
    in relation to the suspension of South Shields CLP.

  6. Laughable, looked at calendar, and it’s not April first. Must make for very boring meeting just missing the ‘don’ t speak until spoken to’ rule.

  7. Getting shouted at in the street really is not that big a deal. If you don’t like being heckled don’t be a politician (or a stand up comedian). Duncan Shipley-Dalton
    I don’t even think he shouted, Starmer said she was abused
    But Leadbeater certainly pointed her finger at her questioner and stormed off in a huff both Starmer and Leadbeater are effing snowflakes. Good job she is not a member of South Shields CLP.

  8. We are not so much slipping into ‘dictatorship’, it’s more traditionally British than that, Johnson is like Charles 1 establishing an autocratic aristocratic Personal Rule. Corruption is inevitable and crazy ideas like this one gets the Royal nod. No courtier dares oppose him, his word is final. Any opposition is to be welcomed – even by Tory Lite Starmer. The Cavaliers sneer about a majority of a few hundred but the fact is that if you assume a fair proportion of Galloway’s 8250 votes would in his absence have gone to Labour it implies they would have increased their majority, a telling moment for the Tory party who were deserted by what some are calling the ‘Posh Tories’ in Batley and Chesham. They were purged from Parliament by Johnson but their supporters still have votes and are keen to show their dislike of the grubby politics of King Boris. The writing is on the wall for Johnson.

  9. If I had children and they went to this school I would pull them out and enrol them in a different school because that is fucking abuse!

    1. Beat me to it Richard.

      I will add that parents have two months, which is plenty of time to secure a new place of education. What’s the odds that those who don’t bother will whine come September?

      1. It certainly is plenty of time, NVLA, and it will be interesting to see what happens come September.

  10. At the bottom of the page is a flyer promoting Seema Chandwani and Billy Hayes for the CAC. Both of these characters were on the CAC when they had Miko Peled ejected from the Labour Conference in 2018.

    Miko is Jewish and an activist for Palestinian human rights, a more decent person you couldn’t wish to meet, but because the Daily Mail got wind of him being at the conference and lied about him, the cowards on the CAC rescinded his pass and he was told police would be called if he tried to enter.

    At the same conference, Israeli MK Ayelet Verbin, who called Jeremy Corbyn a danger to Jews, was given a hero’s welcome!!!

  11. As I was social worker in my past professional life I can only warn that these schools create problems for the children / young people and itself, as the ante will be raised. Instead of also teaching children/ young people to negotiate, they dictate. A lot can be achieved with children and their teacher working on ground rules for their form /class, which both teacher and chikdren/young people can agree on. They Parties to the agreement then take on responsibility for upholding them. And it works far better than senseless rules.

    1. Sure is Sabine I to was a social worker when it was useful and challenging supportive. It is now a very much a local Gov officers job. Its about control and had the life squeezed out it by the control of Local Government creeping incrementalism.
      The future for social work would be to take out of local authority create a separate national care department funded by central Gov and divided into regions. All care including old people children adoption mental health care support all professionalised and professionally led. Integrated into NHS, Cost a bit to set up but would in the end be far cheaper that the part privatised splintered so called service we have in Uk.
      Most managers can be got shot of. There will be bureaucracy but at least it will under control of the profession. Social work can become a profession again It was starting to develop .At the end of 70s Until Thatcher who wanted to get rid of it couldn’t, so bureaucratized, reduced training and created layer upon layer of managers which grow and grow. Morale fell and people like me left and took other degrees. I ended up as Mental health Psychologist. Many left social work and like me did other things like Law or Voluntary work.
      Having said that I do agree with you schools can severely damage young people mentally and socially. I saw many examples of it in the years I was involved including children ending up in the criminal forensic area.
      That is not to say that there not very good teachers there are many but they can be very frustrated with the system as I was.
      I mentioned above examples in Europe where children have a totally different experience of education Finland for example has been number 1 for years Start at 7 No public exams until 16 No private or selective schools. Children treated as adults on first name terms with teachers and teachers with them. Its the same throughout most of Europe ..The UK with its splinted system is about 18th.

      1. I left social work for the same reason, and I moved into Right to voice work, did an NVQ3 in Youth Work, also during working life financed Uni course for working with people on the autism spectrum. I also worked with care leavers,I have also done part-time agency work in adult services both in a hospital and a community setting. What I do not like is that schools are pretty quick in excluding students. Anywhere else education is a right. The other thing is school uniforms. We do not have ,never had them in Germany. We could wear anything we wanted as long as it was clean. Jeans, trainers and such like, no problem. And we still turned into law abiding citizens.
        I worked very closely with camhs which then led to working in a systemic way long before that became the thing to do.I made the same experience re frustrated demoralised teachers, or teachers at the end of their tether, even in primary schools. Germany start with primary school when children are 6. To get to A-level standard would take you 12 years, as long as you do not fail in two subjects and then have to repeat the year.
        Before covid I volunteered in youthwork, and since covid started I have volunteered at a local foodbank.

  12. Is this what they have done to us?
    Perhaps we need to nurture a society of critical thinking citizens. And the Tories et al and rich and powerful will then be crushed by our left wing democratic socialist IDEAS!

    1. bazza, “critical thinking citizens” showed their recognition of our sound ideas. the problem was the collective lack of “critical thinking” left leaders☢️🥀☢️🥀☢️🥀

    2. enough members assumed, since those they trusted, trusted starmer and gang, they should trust ex dpp too.
      a “critical thinking” collective of bigwigs would have realised, any one can make pledges. likelihood of keeping pledges, could be judged by persistent pledge breaking and past actions eg re: hillsborough, jimmy saville, morgan, old kent road fire, the several deaths in police custody, postmasters it prosecutions scandals, establishment crimes aplenty, rampant outsourcing plundering, suspect accountancy and consultancy vulture collaborators, or course julian assange… the list is endless.

      but it is not unreasonable that “the many” at a distance should take guidance from decent people with close association with sir starmer & co. denying “the many” the forde report put enough members at an even greater disadvantage. the many should not be blamed. they reasonably expected that crucial information eg forde report spanning four years would not have been withheld from them by people who speak about decency.

      note also, people who mean no harm, blame “stupid” electorate, “uninformed” electorate, “uneducated” electorate, non “critical thinking citizens” etc etc etc, yet feel those with decades of experience are sacred are sacred cows.

      questions: who chooses a plumber who says nice things but takes no effective action to fix leaks? who wants a pilot who says nice things but refuses to fly? who wants a cardiac surgeon who says nice things about everything everywhere but takes no effective action about anything anywhere… especially your heart

  13. Has there ever been a headteacher in the history of education who didn’t claim the “most parents were fully in favour” of whatever strange new rule or code of conduct that they had introduced?
    I well remember the old brick Victorian school that I attended between the ages of 7 & 11 years. The towering windows had sills that began at least 4 to 5 feet from the floor ensuring that the kids had no view out of them other than the sky. I am sure that they were quite deliberately designed like that and you can still see them in the few old school buildings of that era that still remain. It seems in some cases that we haven’t come very far.

  14. Ludicrous idea. When I thought that it was impossible for all reason to fly away from Plague Island, this arrives. If it were me as a pupil, I’d rather not go to school. Instead of progressing as mankind is supposed to we are regressing, at an alarming rate.

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