Dedham Primary School, Essex has recently been mocked for an activity involving reception class children being sent to risk assess their outdoor play area. The school is accused of “killing the joys of childhood” and other offences generally prefaced with “what is the world coming to…”
Whether we believe that children of four and five should be introduced to health and safety that way, is it really fair to blame the school? We live in a culture of constant complaint and schools rank high amongst the institutions that suffer. When accidents occur, teachers, schools and education authorities are condemned. When schools react with activities of this sort, they are criticised.
OFSTED praised the school for it’s commitment to health and safety, which might leave schools feeling aggrieved – ‘damned if they do, damned if they don’t’. This school is playing by our rules – if society doesn’t like it, society needs to change the rules.
Posted by Mark Fowles, who specialises in catastrophic claims particularly occupational stress, OLA, abuse, social services, and significant claims against public and local authorities.
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