Harris Academy Upper Norwood in Croydon gets 'Outstanding' Ofsted rating after banning 'urban slang words' in school

Twitter users had originally reacted with fury shortly after the ban came into effect

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The Independent Online

A school in Croydon has turned-around its academic reputation for the better after it banned the use of all ‘urban slang words’ almost two years ago.

Harris Academy Upper Norwood in Croydon, South London, is now the proud recipient of Ofsted’s highest rating of Outstanding after it took the old-fashioned approach to improve standards of English and banned the use of words such as “coz,” “like,” “bare” and “woz.”

The academy used to be known as the Westwood Girls’ College for Language before it changed in 2013, which posted the worst GCSE results in Croydon in 2012.

The 346-pupil institution, which teaches girls aged between 11 and 16, stirred-up a mixed response when pictures of the new rules surfaced online in 2013.

Labour MP David Lammy had said the ban was “a very good idea” and that, having seen first-hand how incorrect use of English was affecting young people’s job prospects, praised the school for setting-out a professional, educational environment.

Now, however, head teacher Sam Hainey told the Mirror the school was thrilled with Ofsted’s report and that it put in writing what the school knew to be true.

He added: “This is happy school community which has not only made significant progress over the past two years, but has a very bright and positive future.”

Ofsted’s report declares that “this is an outstanding school” and adds: “Students behave very sensibly around the academy. They are polite and considerate.”

Speaking with the Croydon Guardian shortly after the ban came into effect, a school spokeswoman defended the academy and said the initiative was one of the many ways in which the school wanted to build the vocabulary of its students and believed this would give them the necessary skills they needed to express themselves confidently and appropriately for a variety of audiences.

The school’s decision originally caused heated debate as users took to social media to vent their fury, with one user even calling the school “a white supremacist project with government funding and control of children.”

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