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...