OUTRAGED Cradley parents said “I cor believe it” when told their children are being banned from using Black Country phrases at school.

Colley Lane Primary School have drawn up a list of ten phrases they want outlawed in the classroom including “it wor me” and “I cor do that.”

The school sent a letter outlining the “zero tolerance” approach to the Black Country dialect explaining they did not want the children to be disadvantaged in life.

Parent Alana Willetts, aged 30, said: “I do not agree with this zero tolerance policy and am not the only one.

“The teachers should be teaching the children about the Black Country and our dialect.

“There are a lot of children who have no idea about local history.”

She added: “I think it is patronising to say that people with a Black Country accent are disadvantaged, I have not been disadvantaged and there are plenty of people in Cradley who are very successful.

“Many pop stars and other celebrities seem to have done well for themselves with a Black Country accent.”

Black Country champion Ryan Guest contacted the News about the school’s new policy.

He said: “I just think it's ridiculous.

“Yes there's occasions where you have to speak in a more formal manner, but that just comes naturally as you grow older- banning colloquialisms that come naturally to you as a person is just stupid and comes across as being quite snobbish.”

He added: “It hasn't done the likes of Lenny Henry or Noddy Holder too much harm has it?

“Everybody should be proud of their roots and of their background and the Black Country accent and dialect is a key part of local people's identity.”

Parents received the controversial letter last week.

It said: “Recently we asked each class teacher to write a list of the top ten most damaging phrases used by children in the classroom.”

“We are introducing a “zero tolerance” in the classroom to get children out of the habit of using the phrases on the list.”

“We want the children in our school to have the best start possible: Understanding when it is and is not acceptable to use slang and colloquial language.

“We value the local dialect but are encouraging children to learn the skill of turning it on and off in different situations.”

Headteacher John White said: "We talked about this a lot before we went ahead with the policy and looked at similar policies in Bradford.

"Children can get confused when it comes to the classroom about what is the right term to use.

"We wanted to do it in a lighthearted way and not be patronising. We value the Black Country heritage and that is important to us as a school.

He added: "However, it is all about getting these children ready for that job interview when they can hold their own with people from across the country, how they speak with their mates is of course a different matter."  


Colley Lane Primary School’s top ten “damaging phrases.”

1. “They was” instead of “they were.”

2. “I cor do that” instead of “I can't do that.”

3. “Ya” instead of “you.”

4. “Gonna” instead of “going to.”

5. “Woz” instead of “was.”

6. “I day” instead of “I didn’t.”

7. “I ain’t” instead of “I haven’t.”

8. “Somefink” instead of “something.”

9. “It wor me” instead of “it wasn’t me.”

10. “Ay?” Instead of “pardon?”