26/11/2014 12:40 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Headteacher Bans Primary Pupils From Mentioning Christmas Until December 1st

Getty Images
Santa hat on BlackboardSome other related images:

A primary school headmistress has banned children from talking about Christmas until December 1.

Good luck with that! Mine have been talking about it since Halloween, and no doubt by the time December 25 rolls round, they'll be on to Easter!

Anyway, Jane Porter has decreed that any pupil who breaks her order is punished by having their play time cut. She said she has imposed the ban – which also applies to all staff – because the real meaning of Christmas is being lost.

She said festive excitement was taking hold too early and distracting the pupils at Whitehill Primary School in Gravesend, Kent.

But some parents said many of the children – who are aged from four upwards – are too young to understand.

Dad-of-three Robert Dalton, 31, an electrician, said: "I feel this is wrong and immoral. Kids have Christmas rammed down their throat by TV advertising from as early as September and yet they can be punished for mentioning it at school.

"If they are caught saying the word Christmas they stand to lose their golden time flexi playtime which is used as a reward for good work and behaviour."

Mrs. Porter said: "It has always been the case that Christmas, a Christian festival, starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, and that's December 1 this year.

"It's always been the case at our school. It's been like that since I started here in 1997 and it was like that before then too.

"I would have to question why people would want it to start any earlier."

She added: "One of our golden rules is to work hard so if the children are not working hard, talking about Christmas for instance, then they will lose their golden time.

"That would be the case with anything not related to school – they shouldn't be talking about David Beckham, for example.

"If they're talking about something they shouldn't be, they're not working hard. We're a school, we're about education, not retail."

Whitehill Primary was rated 'good' this year by Ofsted, which praised teachers and pupils. The report said: "The clear vision of the head teacher has been pivotal in improving the school.

"Her high aspirations and focused development have been pursued with rigour and resulted in clear improvements in pupils' progress, behaviour and the quality of teaching."

What do you think?