Playground Gossip

  • #UKEdChat session 543
  • Unpicking why gossip has lead to a situation is difficult.
  • As they are the centre of the community, schools are often the centre of gossip!
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The news in the UK has been filled with revelations about the infighting between the members of a particular family, and gossip abounds. However, these types of breathless whispers are not confined to the corridors of palaces, and the corridors outside of 7B Science can be just as vicious and troubling.

The high walls of the school can keep out many things, but hearsay, family feuds and whispers are not among them. Being at the hear of the community, schools are often at the centre of the gossip machine and this can cause more than a few headaches for teachers as they unpick why little Sally bashed little Johnny over the head with a Tippex pen and a why a shatter-resistant ruler duel ensued.

Teachers can be both the subject and source of gossip, and in my own teaching experience I have looked on as the High-Whisperer holds court in from a high-back burgundy throne in the dark recesses of the staffroom.

In this #UKEdChat session, which took place on Thursday 11th March 2021 at 8pm(UK), we discussed how better communication can reduce others to incorrectly fill in the gaps, how to spot the signs and stop gossip before it hurts someone, and how building relationships and good school culture can both mitigate the problem before it happens, and inoculate against it when it does.


  1. Do you think that schools take the problem of gossip seriously?
  2. How does your school combat gossip as a behaviour management issue?
  3. Cite an example of a classroom situation that arose because of gossip, and how did you resolve it.
  4. Is it inevitable that schools will be at the centre of gossip in the community?
  5. How can school communication be improved to avoid others filling in their own gaps with gossip and hearsay?
  6. Can malicious whispers be stopped with an improved school culture? How can this come about?
  7. How can schools stop feuds outside the school from impacting learning inside? Should they?
  8. Is staffroom gossip a way to blow of steam, or something that schools should try to stop?

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About @ICTmagic 780 Articles
Martin Burrett is the editor of our popular UKEdMagazine, along with curating resources in the ICTMagic section, and free resources for teachers on UKEd.Directory

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