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Posh School Rewards Creative Lying

Telling a lie can get you on Santa’s naughty list, but it could get you on the Dean’s List at one British school. Students at the Perse School at Cambridge can avoid punishment for minor offenses, provided they can come up with quick, clever excuses for their transgressions within ten seconds. Headmaster Ed Elliott won’t allow complete B.S., but “white lies” are acceptable.

“It’s a great lesson in life to talk your way out of a tight corner in a very short period of time,” Elliott told the BBC. Rewarding a child for lying may seem counter-intuitive, but Elliott believes he’s fostering important communication skills.

“As head I like to play my part in creating a quick-thinking, communication-savvy generation, by giving students who have committed a minor offense ten seconds to talk their way out of a punishment. Many rise admirably to the challenge, and in so doing develop the charm and eloquence needed in the next generation of British entrepreneurs and wealth creators."

The school’s alumni include luminaries such as Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour, and Elliott suggests his “lie-dea” may give current students the right verbal skills to succeed in the world.

Some have protested that Elliott is merely training students to be politicians, but rhetoric expert Sam Leith thinks it’s a brilliant idea — no lie. “You can see this being a really important life skill. Actually some politicians are straight arrow, but often the ones who succeed are the artful dodgers,” Leith said.

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