Hey OFSTED leave those northern accents alone!

There’s nowt wrong with a northern accent and yes you may mock, but you’re probably a soft southern teaching inspector so we won’t be listening anyhow.

Sorry to turn to easy stereotypes, but the hackles raise when OFSTED (OFSTED my most hated, useless, pompous and overblown inspectorate of schools) criticise a teacher for being too northern. Could you not try to sound more southern? they suggested. In fact it was one of her points for development. Sorry again, much as I hate fake media-induced outrage I am right cross!

A southern colleague here in Rome has questioned whether letter sounds can be taught by our many and varied northern colleagues, but I think that my flat northern vowels are far more suited to demonstrating the difference between mud/mad and cup/cap. Dance, grass and bath with my accent are far more phonetically sound.

For more on why the Yorkshire accent is the best in the world

Obviously if we were littering our teaching of Italian children with phrases like: fair t’middlin, where there’s muck there’s brass, snicket, chuffed, overfaced and neither use nor ornament you might have somat to complain about, but there is a real difference between accent and dialect. Part of the English curriculum is to teach the difference between formal/informal and written and spoken language. A variety of accents is something that both English learners and English speakers should be exposed to as something positive and beneficial.

However, maybe it’s a sore point. As an example of my own forceful accent, an Italian boy (who I taught three years ago) had the following line in the Christmas play, “My mum says…” However, he pronounced it, “Me mum ses…” I didn’t realise, it had to be pointed out to me by his current teacher. All my fault. Another Italian child in my class spelt dreadful ‘dreatful’ recently in a spelling test, do you think my Bratford accent is affecting their English? Poor. (and don’t even get me started on how many ways that can be pronounced in the North).
But I still think OFSTED are wrong.


  1. Have you seen the new range of school uniform that is going down a storm in England. Its free as long as you display the designer logo


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