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This school has banned pencil cases

(223 Posts)
Floradora9 Fri 11-May-18 16:20:08

St Wilfrid's Primary School in Blyth, Northumberland has banned pencil cases because it could stigmatise the poorer pupils. What next ? Perhaps only NHS glasses to be worn , Primark knickers , Aldi snacks. I think this is so mad .

Dontaskme Fri 11-May-18 16:23:20

I'm sorry but there isn't anyone in this country who is too poor to buy or make a pencil case!

Panache Fri 11-May-18 16:29:58

Surely the whole system is going totally mad?
Whatever next?

sodapop Fri 11-May-18 16:38:24

How does this prepare children for life in the real world?
It's a shame they don't have better causes to espouse than this ridiculous trivia.

Alygran Fri 11-May-18 16:40:11

Check out the whole story based on research in 100 schools in the north east by a charity Children North East. It’s about stigma and bullying not pencil cases. Interesting work by the charity but poor headlines in my view.

BlueBelle Fri 11-May-18 16:59:29

We sell lovely pencil cases for 50p in the charity shop I volunteer in sometimes entirely new unused ones

What a silly school so what do they take their pens pencils rubbers etc to school in ?

ninathenana Fri 11-May-18 17:03:47

Alygran do you have a link please.

Maggiemaybe Fri 11-May-18 17:13:21

It'll be interesting to see what resemblance the facts bear to the media's take on it. smile Off to google.

Alygran Fri 11-May-18 17:14:00

Not sure if this will work. It’s on the BBC website

lemongrove Fri 11-May-18 17:21:37

If the school feels so strongly about it, they could organise an event, selling used books/uniforms or cakes baked by parents etc and get in a stock of cheap pencil cases for anyone who wants one.

JenniferEccles Fri 11-May-18 17:22:44

It's absolute nonsense isn't it? Pencil cases are CHEAP!

This is definitely a story for Littlejohn to be filed under 'you couldn't make it up'

wildswan16 Fri 11-May-18 17:23:40

It really isn't about "banning" pencil cases. It is more about ensuring that no child is made to feel different because they haven't got the latest "in" design. Similarly the school backpacks are all the same design etc.

trisher Fri 11-May-18 17:26:07

This was only done after consultation with the parents and is in my view a great idea. I suppose if you have never seen the face of a child who has brought into school a new item (like a pencil case) that she was thrilled to be given, only to have a few other children tease and mock her because it, "came from the pound shop", and wave their expensive latest craze items at her, you will have no idea what is going on. It isn't just pencil cases, it's a whole range of measures to make school easier for the poorest children.

Maggiemaybe Fri 11-May-18 17:34:49

It's a commonsense initiative to stop children showing off with their latest expensive crap acquisition. Looking at the WHS website, it's obvious children are now being targetted with yet more "must have" rubbish, this time in the shape of the once humble pencil case. I hadn't realised it was a thing. The school is going to provide the stationery the children need instead. Very sensible, imho.

Jayh Fri 11-May-18 17:36:38

What a shame that this story has been so misunderstood. It is not about pencil cases, if only it was that simple. Read Trisher, Wildswan and Alygran’s posts for an explanation of the important issues surrounding this decision. Well done that school for addressing them.

FarNorth Fri 11-May-18 17:38:02

Okay, but why can't the school provide inexpensive pencil cases for pupils to buy? If they can specify a backpack, they can specify a pencil case.
Does everyone have to bring their pens etc in a plastic bag?

eazybee Fri 11-May-18 17:40:51

I would happily have banned pencil cases, not for the reasons that the school quoted above has given, but because they took up so much space on the tables/desks where the children worked, not leaving room for exercise and text books, apparatus et al, and were the cause of endless fiddling and playing about, swapping, 'borrowing' and losing, (not to mention one notorious case of assault with a metal tin pencil case, fortunately by a child no longer in my class, or school).

All a child needs to work is a pencil, pen, ruler, rubber, and pencil sharpener, all of which are provided by the school, and kept in pencil pots, baskets on the tables. Rows of felt pens, crayons, smell pens, luminous glow in the dark pens, magic markers ,magic erasers etc, etc, etc are fine for art work and can be kept in the cloakroom, tray etc; but they are not needed for everyday work.

mostlyharmless Fri 11-May-18 17:44:23

Well it sounds silly, banning pencil cases, but it’s really about “poverty proofing” schools so that no child feels disadvantaged.
Having read this post I looked up the poverty proofing idea and can now recognise that this was an issue we largely ignored when I taught in a primary school in a fairly poor area.
A very interesting project on inclusivity in schools.
A very misleading headline I agree!

Anniebach Fri 11-May-18 17:49:17

Not every parent would bother to buy a pencil case even if sold cheaply , not all parents care

notanan2 Fri 11-May-18 17:57:09

primary school children in my area dont NEED pencil cases. Pencils pens and art materials are provided at school.

The pencil cases that ARE being brought to school are fancy smiggle ones filled with the latest expensive tat! Its basically the same as bringing toys to school to show off. Its unnecessary. Pencil cases are fine for home but there is no need to be bringing them to school round here until secondary so I really dont agree with any of the outraged "whatever next" comments!

When I grew up you did have to bring your own pencils and pens so pencilcases had a non gimmick/toy function so it was totally different!

Maggiemaybe Fri 11-May-18 17:59:40

And they were basic, and cheap, or often homemade. smile

How times have changed. Though not unfortunately for the poorest children in our society. Which is the issue we should be outraged about.

agnurse Fri 11-May-18 18:01:01

Personally I'm of two feelings about this. On the one hand, yes, children should not be teased simply because they can't afford to buy designer clothes or the latest things. (This is why I support school uniforms. In Canada, where I live, we don't generally have school uniforms unless children attend a private school.) On the other hand, the reality is that there will always be people who have more or less than you do. My concern is that if the children learn to "expect poverty-proofing" they are in for a challenge in the real world. Even in professions where a uniform is required (for example, I'm a nurse) there will be people who have nicer scrubs than you have. That's a fact of life. Children should be taught to be respectful and not to denigrate what someone else has just because it's not "the latest".

mostlyharmless Fri 11-May-18 18:01:58

I think it’s having to have the latest “designer” pencil case, pencils, trainers, backpack etc or being stigmatised. Social media means the bullying carries on 24/7.
It sounds pretty trivial to us, but to the children involved it can lead to being bullied.
When schools banned these “designer” items and gave everyone a standard pencil case and backpack apparently it resulted in less truancy and better behaviour.
Dressing up days and school trips which put pressure on parents with little money was found to discriminate against the poorest too. As does discussing your weekend or holiday.
One September when I was teaching, we discussed what children had done in the holidays. One child said nothing at all. When pressed he said he did nothing, and went nowhere because his dad was in prison. A sobering thought.

notanan2 Fri 11-May-18 18:04:23

well they were basic because they needed to be functional and carry the basics! mine had to have art material, ruler, pencil, pen, sharpener, rubber so there really wasnt ROOM for gimmicks.

Now that theyre not NEEDED function is replaced by gimmick: like secret compartments that flick open (SO annoying for teachers!!) but they wouldnt have fitted the old list of equipment.

Theyre just toys now. Its best all round not to take toys to school IMO

notanan2 Fri 11-May-18 18:06:37

agnurse Im sorry I dont agree that the kids who already have it tough compaired to their peers need to be further "toughened up" at school for their own good.

I had an unhappy home live and school was a blessed relief! We should always strive to make schools as level a playing field as possible!!