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Last Updated: Friday, 2 June 2006, 13:07 GMT 14:07 UK
B dropped from school class name
Bonnyrigg Primary School
Bonnyrigg Primary School said parents had raised concerns
A school has changed the names of its primary one classes after complaints that they left some children feeling inferior, BBC Scotland has learned.

Bonnyrigg Primary School had called its classes 1a and 1b but some parents of children in 1b said it left the youngsters feeling second best.

The classes will now be known as 1ar and 1ap, incorporating teachers' surnames in the new titles.

One Midlothian parent dubbed the move "political correctness gone mad".

The man said he was surprised when he read about the change in a school newsletter.

He told the BBC Scotland news website: "This shows how far political correctness has gone in Scotland.

"I thought this policy was simply astounding. I have to admit that I am surprised that the headmistress has bowed to, and thereby endorsed, this."

Eleanor Coner, Scottish Parent Teacher Council information officer, said she was "flabbergasted" by the school's decision to rename its classes.

She said: "There is a long history of giving classes names and therefore it seems logical to go with the start of the alphabet.

I think these parents need to get a grip, it's a ridiculous request, which has left me flabbergasted
Eleanor Coner
Scottish Parent Teacher Council

"These parents need not be so sensitive and should think whether it is not their actions which are highlighting this inferior idea surrounding class names.

"It all sounds a bit silly to me and is on a par with the situation which brought us the changed nursery rhyme name of Ba Ba Rainbow Sheep.

"I think these parents need to get a grip, it's a ridiculous request, which has left me flabbergasted."

Councillor Peter Boyes, Midlothian Council cabinet member for education and lifelong learning said: "The school was approached by some parents of primary one pupils last year who expressed some concern about the use of primary '1a' and '1b' in case 'b' was perceived as being second to 'a'.

"This is clearly not the case in the school where the two-stream, primary one classes are allocated by date of birth.

"However the headteacher took the pragmatic step of renaming the classes '1ar' and '1ap', as the new class identifiers, where 'r' and 'p' are the initials of the class teacher's surname.

"This practice is used elsewhere in primary schools and is not unique to Bonnyrigg Primary."


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