The school that’s putting manners back on the map

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  • The college that teaches pupils shirt-ironing and table manners

    Most people are pleased if they leave school with a decent set of qualifications, but one college has decided this alone isn’t a good enough life lesson – and is serving up lectures on table manners, shirt-ironing and proper use of public transport.

    During a one-year course, teenagers at Brighton College are taught everything from etiquette (how to deal with food you don’t like at a dinner party) to practical skills (ironing, map-reading and how to boil an egg).

    Headmaster, Richard Cairns, is on a one-man mission to bring back proper behaviour aftera recent survey by the Institute of Directors revealed that graduates are impolite and lack manners.

    He told the Daily Mail: ‘Our role is to equip our pupils for all aspects of adult life.

    ‘Exams are only a part of that preparation. Just as important, in my view, is whether a young person has a grasp of basic etiquette.

    ‘This is really to make the children’s university and working lives easier for them.’

    The compulsory course was introduced this term for the 140 pupils in the first year at Brighton College, where day fees are £15,387 a year and boarding £24,078.

    Skills covered in the 45-minute classes include putting up a tent, formal letter-writing, cooking an egg, monitoring heart rates during exercise to keep fit, making a pizza and taking digital photographs.

    Etiquette practices are also put in place, and include lessons on considerate use of pavements, including stepping aside for members of the public, assisting pensioners and giving up seats on buses and trains.

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