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Politeness is the new cool

TEACHER (from left): Etiquette Room founder Rose Menns with teacher Petrina Poleon and Major Glen Lindsay with six of the newest graduates

THEY SAY good manners make the man and these students adorned in gowns and mortar boards are the latest to graduate with high honours in a discipline which is rapidly becoming redundant in today’s world.

A unique ‘Etiquette Room’ school in Birmingham, founded by mother-of-four Rose Menns, a sergeant in the Territorial Army is teaching youngsters that politeness is the new cool and there’s nothing old fashioned about having good manners.

Backed by colleague Petrina Poleon, a qualified teacher, and Menns’ brother Major Glen Lindsay, who spent more than 30 years in the British Army, they form a competent team to help youngsters shape up.

Since its launch eight years ago, hundreds of youngsters have graduated from the Etiquette Room.


“This is not all about manners,” explains Menns, who runs the six-week course at Harborne Pool and Fitness Centre. “It’s about improving youngsters’ self-worth and their self belief.

She explains further: “We’ve had young people come to us with rock bottom confidence. They can’t hold a proper conversation, can’t even maintain eye contact while talking to someone or answer a phone in the family home.”

Part of the course also requires participants to devise their own five-year plan of their future.

“So many people say ‘what’s gone wrong with this generation? They have no manners. Many blame it on parents who simply haven’t been prepared for parenthood and find it very hard,” Menns pointed out.

The Etiquette Room is seeking to change that culture. The etiquette teacher outlined that the course is designed to assist youngsters to discover their self worth, practise proper manners as well as proper deportment and communication skills to “give them such a fantastic head start in life”.

One recent graduate, 15-year-old Deladem Dzoesi, shared her experience. She said: “I found the course helpful, but also fun. I learned a lot. At the time I wanted to apply for being head girl at my school. The course tutors helped me with my application and prepared me for an interview – and I got to be deputy head girl. I’m over the moon!”

Part of the pupils’ graduation ‘pledge’ which they recite at the ceremony, reads: “Excuse is not an option. Not doing it is not an option. Leaving it to someone else is not an option. The only option is to take responsibility. Do it, do it well and enjoy doing it.”

The latest graduate line-up includes: Deladem Dzoesi, 15; Keshav Laroiya, 13; Aman Laroiya, 9; Shruti Mittal, 8; Ali Master, 7; and Naman Mittal, 4.

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