Monday, 21 October 2013

Who Says Schools Are Short-Staffed?

Pupils at a Bolton primary school have been banned from playing traditional playground games of tig and British bulldog
Oh, let me guess - because they are British?
… because they are too dangerous.
Ah. Right. It’s the ‘elf ‘n safety mob who are to blame. Well, makes a change, I suppose…
Parents of youngsters at Egerton Community Primary have been told in the school’s weekly newsletter that children can no longer play “rough games” in the playground.
Students at the Cox Green Road school can use the playing fields when the weather is good but the majority of the year will have to spend break times in the playground.
The letter says: “What we have observed is a situation where children were being hurt because they were not moving about the playground safely and because they were playing games that, in a smaller space, were causing them to have accidents.
“It is not acceptable for us to accept that children will get hurt while playing and it is our job to ensure that the playground and playtimes are organised well to ensure safety.”
Which didn't go down too well with the parents.
Mrs Jackson, a teaching assistant at another school whose two sons attend Egerton Community Primary, added: “Accidents happen, it’s normal, it gives children the opportunity to measure their own risks, and it’s a learning curve for them.”
Another mother with two children at the school, who asked to remain anonymous, added: “I just think children need to be children, we can’t wrap them up in cotton wool.
“I do understand it is for the safety of the children and that the school wants to prevent accidents but there are so many benefits children get from playing games like tig. Accidents do happen but it’s all part of growing up.”
But the school doesn't want to consider these benefits. And they don't watch the news or take note of recent judgements, either.

And so wedded to the idea of ‘organised playtime’ are they, they've even created a dedicated role!
Sam Mitchell, headteacher of Egerton Community Primary School, said: “Following a number of injuries to pupils, the school reviewed safety in the playground and has asked pupils not to play tig and British bulldog.
“Instead, to improve safety and enjoyment for all children, the school has introduced play areas identified for a range of activities co-ordinated by a play leader.
“Children have been asked to respect each other’s play and safety and have told us that they are enjoying their new playtimes.”
And nor are they the only one to do so:
St John’s RC Primary in Darwen Road, Bromley Cross, currently has no playground restrictions in place but ensures that break and lunch times are monitored both by staff and Year Five playground mediators, who are trained to help children play carefully.
‘Playground Mediator’. Do you get a little blue beret?

And next time you see a teacher's strike (probably when they want to do their Christmas shopping) just pause to wonder how many actually are teachers as we'd understand the word...

9 comments:

Bucko The Moose said...

I used to love bulldog. I once fell flat on my face and grazed my forehead. The dinner lady cleaned it up, applied some stinky gunk and finished it off with a plaster. I'm sure the thought of putting a stop to the game never crossed anyones minds.

When we were older we played bulldog and tig on roller skates at Darwen Leisure Centre (before the socialist knocked it down and rebuilt it in their own image). That was fast and furious.

The stewards never bothered us though, as long as we stayed out of the beginner section, which we usually did.

Macheath said...

Thanks for the link!

There's something about this whole formally designated 'play leader' business that makes my blood run cold; yet more grooming of the next generation to follow obediently where the authorities want them to go.

I hope I'm wrong, but it sounds like more of what is sometimes called the 'feminisation' of the educational environment - though I can think of plenty of girls who were ferocious British Bulldog players (and I still have the scars to prove it).

John Pickworth said...

There's something about this whole formally designated 'play leader' business that makes my blood run cold;

Mine too.

You'd think that at least a few teachers had heard of Stalin? Eastern Europe? The Dark Ages? Maybe they have, maybe to them it's not so much warnings from history but rather a model for the future?

Speaking of warnings... while we're busy taming our kids, there are those abroad that give their kids AK47s to play with. Anyone care to guess where that's going to lead to one day?

Anonymous said...

More to do with the parents that seek compensation at the drop of a hat, me thinks.

Anonymous said...

Back in the 50s we had 'prefects' to control us 13 -14 year olds. They were obviously chosen from amongst us for they size and sporting prowess -so nobody argued with them
There main task was to break up fights.

Macheath said...

“Children [...] have told us that they are enjoying their new playtimes.”

Somehow I can't get this disturbingly Orwellian phrase out of my head - talk about hugging one's chains!

Lynne at Counting Cats said...

Rename the game Istanbul Dog, declare that it is an insult to Islam to prevent the playing of the game.

There, sorted.

Furor Teutonicus said...

XX Sam Mitchell, headteacher of Egerton Community Primary School, said: “Following a number of injuries to pupils,XX

????

WHAT injuries?

We played all these games at school, as did all my relatives, Great grandfathers, going WAY back.

I know of NON that were "injured," and during my own school time, I never saw any one being injured.

Why are the wee bastards so inept nowdays?

JuliaM said...

"I'm sure the thought of putting a stop to the game never crossed anyones minds."

Those were the days... :( But now, as anon points out, the parents have solicitors on speed-dial.

"... yet more grooming of the next generation to follow obediently where the authorities want them to go."

And we can already see the results.

"WHAT injuries?"

Even Bucko's grazed head would be an injury now, and would have to be recorded!