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Video: Don't call me sir - village school ruling

Sorry, this video asset has been removed.

Video: Headteacher
explains why he is no longer Sir

A village primary school has broken with tradition and told
pupils to address their teachers by their first names.

Boughton-under-Blean and Dunkirk Primary is trialling the
controversial move for a year in an attempt to enhance
relationships between staff and its 210 pupils.

Headteacher Hugh Greenwood - now just plain old Hugh
- said the concept was already proving a success.

He said: "There will be people who say we're breaking with
tradition, but the kids love it and have really responded well to

"That 'speak when you're spoken to' relationship of days gone by
has long since gone.

"Children nowadays have a far more active role in their

What do you think? Join the debate by adding your comments below
What do you think? Join the debate by adding your comments below

"But that doesn't for one minute mean we're handing over the
keys. Those in authority are still the ones making the

"There's just a lot more mutual respect in the relationship
between staff and pupils.

"It's about improving behaviour, it's not a threat to

"We think it makes learning a more personal experience and
allows teachers to come down to the pupils' level."

Mr Greenwood says the first-name concept is common practice in
Canada and he's experienced it while working at schools in

He added: "Even the vicars who come into the school want to be
called Jean and Debbie, not Mrs this or Mrs that.

"If it has had a negative impact after a year we'll have to
review it, but within a week people are already getting used to it
and taking it onboard."

  • Find out what the parents think by getting a copy of this week's Kentish Gazette.
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