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Conkers Banned in Bonkers Safety Move

Tuesday 19th April 2011

The BBC news reports today that many traditional playground games are being banned by schools because of safety fears. Traditional games that have been enjoyed by hundreds of pupils for many years are in danger of being forgotten simply because head teachers are worried that schools will be held accountable for accidents. Cuts in funding have led to a reduction in staff availability for supervision, as well as concerns of the safety of pupils. Overzealous health and safety guidelines are also being blamed for curtailing the fun that children have playing leapfrog, British bulldog and conkers during their playtime breaks. However many teachers continue to use their common sense in how far to take the risk aversion. It is inevitable that children can sometimes fall over and scrape their knees, or even break a bone, but that is part of a normal childhood. A secondary school teacher, from Wales, said: "Pupils need to learn their own limitations, which they can’t do if they don’t encounter risk."

More than a quarter (29%) of the 653 school staff surveyed by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) said chasing game British bulldog had been banned from their school. The research was published at the ATL teaching union’s annual conference in Liverpool on Tuesday.

School trips have also been hit by fears that teachers or schools could be sued, should something go wrong.


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