Named: the good, the Brad and the Ali

4th December 2009 at 00:00
Frances and Shaun top swots as survey seeks monikers of best- and worst-behaved pupils

In the olden days, children wanting to make it on to Santa Claus's list were warned they had better not shout or cry when he came to town.

Nowadays, Father Christmas has it much easier: he can tell whether children fall into the "naughty" or "nice" categories merely by checking their names. So Frances, Shaun and Calum will be waking up to bulging stockings on Christmas morning, while Rory, Meghan and Georgie may find that Santa has left them only tangerines and talc.

A survey of more than 62,000 pupils recorded who were the best and worst behaved at school this year. This was then used to examine whether any names were repeatedly linked with particular types of behaviour.

The survey found that Frances was the best-behaved girl, with Shaun her rule-abiding counterpart among the boys. Kelly, Stacey and Eve were also notably obedient, as were Calum, Ali and Brandon.

Meanwhile, Meghan and Rory will need to go into pre-Christmas good-deed overdrive to compensate for the fact that they were the naughtiest pupils this year. Georgie, Izzy and Jess, as well as Harvey, Bob and Tyler, were also consistently poorly behaved.

The survey even offers an insight into the demographics of different areas. For example, Nathan and Tanya were the best-behaved pupils in Hampshire, compared with Aiden and Kylie in Nottinghamshire. In Surrey classrooms, it is often Milly who is punished, while London detention halls are filled with girls called Caprice.

But psychologist Kathleen Doorbar points out that much depends on individual schools' roll calls and perceptions of naughtiness.

"A lot of it is self-perpetuating," she said. "But naming children after something that's currently in fashion is unlucky. You feel sorry for the Jordans. Generally, the more ordinary your name is, the safer you are."

The survey was carried out by School Stickers, which provides schools with stickers, postcards and certificates with which to reward pupils for good work or behaviour.

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