Sylvia Stronach, headteacher of Ramnoth Junior in Wisbech, Cambs, wrote to parents explaining the 120 pupils would face punishment if they spoke whilst eating their lunch. She said the ruling was to help canteen staff.
If any of the children - who are aged between seven and 11 - broke the rule, they faced punishments such as writing lines, standing in the centre of the hall and having to hold a teacher's hand, reports the Mirror.
One furious father, Nathan Smith, accused Ms Stronach of going over the top:
"Frankly, this attitude struck me as inappropriate. It humiliated pupils who dared to have a differing opinion. They should find school a happy and harmonious place to learn. Instead it appears that the whip is favoured over the carrot."
Ms. Stronach said: "The noise level has been horrendous and the cooks cannot hear what the children are asking for."
She added that the silence rule only had only been implemented for a week, but would be reintroduced if noise levels increased again, telling parents: "The decision lies entirely with your children."
A spokesman for Cambridgeshire County Council said that Ms Stronach did not wish to make any further comment.
What do you think?
Too strict? Or a good idea?
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