It's time for place for learning

The Daily Telegraph reports that a new primary school has banned the use of the word “school” in its title because it has “negative connotations”. Instead the school is to be known as “a place for learning” after its governors decided the word school is too “institutional”. The head teacher (“primary educational facilitator”, perhaps?) says: “We want this to be a place for family learning, where anyone can come... we wanted to de-institutionalise the place and bring the school [sic] closer to real life.”

Predictably, the Plain English Campaign has condemned the whole idea as “ridiculous”. It cites other recent examples of a “political correctness agenda” including “knowledge navigators” (teachers, though I think educational facilitator is more accurate and slightly less silly); the glorious “education centre nourishment assistants” (dinner ladies); “idea stores” (libraries); and an attempt to ban the word “inmates” for prisoners in case it offends them.

You really couldn’t make it up. Primary school drops word school from name...
The Engine Room: A library by any other name


Neil said...

Is it me or does anyone else feel the need to be un-PC in attempt to redress the balance??!!

I know I do!

JD said...

To give the opposing viewpoint: the governors are using language imaginatively to make the school more appealing. Their intentions are certainly honourable, so good luck to them.

I rarely hear the word 'secretary' nowadays; instead, people doing this job are administrative assistants or personal assistants. That no longer seems odd. So perhaps in the future we will all refer to 'places for learning' and not think it odd either.

Apus said...

The governors might be honourable, JD, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Do they really believe a scared five-year-old will merrily skip into his or her first day at school because of some gobbledegook on the sign outside? Also, just because an example of distorted language gains wide acceptance doesn't make it right: "collateral damage" as a euphemism for "civilian casualties" is one of many examples.