By Becca Husselbee
A mum has removed her son from school and made a homemade classroom after the academy imposed a controversial ‘no talking policy’ to stop children chatting in corridors.
Jenny Kearns, 43, from Acocks Green, Birmingham, removed 15-year-old son, Regan Coates from Ninestiles Academy after he brought a letter home in October last year stating pupils would be asked to remain silent when moving through the corridors to other lessons.
Furious mum-of-four Jenny claims the policy could cause irreversible damage to students and that not enough research or planning had been carried out to condone the new rule.
Despite having no teaching qualifications, she formally removed Regan from school the day the letter came home and is now teaching him history, English and science as well as other subjects in a homemade classroom.
Jenny, a stay-at-home mum, said: “I was completely bewildered by the introduction of this policy.
“I spent weeks asking other schools in the trust if they had introduced the policy too, and all of them said no.
“When I asked the school why this was happening they said it was because of overcrowding and for a better learning environment, but they had done no research to back this up.
“If that’s the case then they need to stop taking on so many students.
“Rules such as this can cause a lot of damage and suppressing children can lead to lots of issues.
“They is already a lack of communication caused by computers and technology so why add to that.
“The children are not allowed to talk during lessons and exams, in assembly and now in the corridors.
“Where do they have the time to discuss important issues surrounding their age group, such as puberty, social issues or talk with others regarding cultures and ethnicity?
“These are the times that they should be talking and learning about each other but the school is trying to stop this.
“They teach the kids 1984 but the school is just the like the book with posters telling the children to be silent.
“The school is rated as outstanding so what else do they want from students?”
Ninestiles Academy first hit the headlines in October 2018 after the proposed policy cause outrage amongst parents, who threatened to remove their children should it be bought into action.
The letter stated students were to remain silent during lesson change over and whilst leaving the school following their last lesson.
Student were also asked to walk in silence to designated lunch and break time areas where they could then be free to socialise, but if the rules was broken a 20 minute detention would be enforced.
Jenny removed her son, who is a year nine pupil at the school, the same day the new rules were implemented on November 5 and has since set up a classroom for him in her home.
She has so far spent £500 buying the necessary books and equipment so Regan can be home schooled as well as hiring tutors but claims that the school has not helped in providing her with the curriculum for his year group.
She said: “We made the backroom into a classroom and bought everything we needed.
“I even make sure Regan is up with his school uniform on at the same time, ready to start.
“But only a few of the teachers have provided me with a learning plan to follow. I teach him as much as I can and get help from tutors when needed.
“I have spoken to parents who now don’t want to send their younger children to the school because of the policy.
“I’m willing to fight this all the way for the sake of our children.”
Jenny says she refuses for her son to be ‘pushed out’ and hopes that more can be done to stop the policy and return Regan to the school.
She said: “We choose the school three years ago because it was the right one for Regan.
“My eldest son left Ninestiles with 11 GCSEs and I know it is a good school but they cannot allow this policy to continue.
“We are hoping he can continue his studies at the school but if not we will have to look into other options for taking his GCSE exams.
“I love the work that schools do, it is amazing that our children get a free education and I’m not trying to stop that.”
In a statement, co-headteachers Andrea Stephens and Alex Hughes, they said: “This initiative was introduced on 5th November 2018 on a phased basis.
“It has been well received by the vast majority of our students and has resulted in classes starting promptly on time.
“As planned, we have been reviewing the policy and because it has worked so well achieving its objectives, we will be announcing a few changes in due course which we believe will be of further benefit to the smooth running of the school.
“We are sure these changes will be welcomed and reflect the positive response we have had from students.
“This is an initiative that has worked well in many other schools and we are pleased that it has had a positive impact here.”