‘We batter them with kindness’: schools that reject super-strict values

It is a bitterly cold Yorkshire morning and outside a school in Barnsley staff are involved in the most important part of the school day.

“All right, Kyle?” asks Dave Whitaker, the executive principal of Springwell special academy. “Morning, Kenzie. I saw some lovely writing of yours last night.”

One by one, the children are greeted by staff with a warm smile and a personalised hello. The teachers’ enthusiasm, however genuine, is rarely reciprocated. Some students scowl, others grunt a “hello”, almost all hunch their shoulders. One 11-year-old girl, Whitaker recalls, responded with a curt “Fuck off!” every single morning for a year.

Read the full article on this link to The Guardian

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