I agree with Gove!!! “We need to change our bubble-wrapped culture”


In the Sunday Times today is an article on school activities that I totally agree with!!

For too long now the schools have had to steer a safe line for fear of litigation. In the article it indicates that this may be changed.

“Michael Gove, the education secretary, plans to bring back a “Dangerous Book for Boys” culture in schools. He believes parents are frustrated with schools where activities are restricted by health and safety rules.”

To the detriment of school children, trips and activities have been scaled down for fear of teachers opening themselves up to the “compensation culture”

“Some teachers have been advised to avoid school trips because of the risks of an accident leading to legal action or a disciplinary inquiry. They also complain of health and safety assessments of up to 100 pages for school trips.”

This cannot be right and I totally agree needs addressing. Yes, I agree, there has to be rules etc. but when the rules are so stringent that the trips don’t take place, something is seriously wrong.

“Claimants may be required to prove reckless endangerment rather than negligence”

This doesn’t mean that there won’t be guidelines but back to good old common sense once again comes into play (excuse pun). Let’s face it teachers train for years to progress in their profession, are we saying they are not responsible people? If they can’t take care of our children, what are they doing in the profession anyway?

The other thing that needs addressing is CRB checks.

Yes we should keep anyone with paedophiliac tendencies away from children, but I have to question the validity of a CRB check.

In the past I have run a Youth football club, before CRB, we were always careful and used common sense. In my 10 years of running that club (with 10 or more teams, ages from 7 to 16) we NEVER had one instance of paedophile activity.

My work takes me into schools and yes I have been CRB checked. I have never been asked for my certificate, or proof and as far as I am concerned the certificate is out of date on the day you apply for it.

One more pertinent quote from the article:

“Julian Brazier, chairman of the all-party group for recreation in society, which has been campaigning to reform health and safety rules, said:

“Young people need opportunities to explore and learn how to manage risk if they are to develop into self-confident people.”

Let Mums and Dads once more help with out of school activity without having to jump through hoops of bureaucracy.

So I have to say, I agree with Gove!!

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5 thoughts on “I agree with Gove!!! “We need to change our bubble-wrapped culture”

  1. One of the things I love most about home educating is being able to judge each risk on an individual basis for my own DD and my own comfort levels.

    We just got back from a home ed camp in Wales where the children had all kinds of opportunities to do things with people who really knew what they were doing and how to do it safely with children – building dens and fires, circus skills (even ‘playing with fire’ for some of them and putting on a fire show under supervision after a week of practice), night time bat walks in dark woods and lots more. Perhaps school activities could never be quite so informal about risk as we can, having parents and children there together – but there must be an compromise position.

    The only thing that really concerns me is the focus on boys in the TV series and the article, I’m glad to see it missing in your blog post – most girls on camp were just as interested in the ‘risky’ physical activities as they were in the drama and the craft options, with individual girls and boys expressing preferences for different things – the fact that more girls learn to cope with very structured ways of learning doesn’t always make it the best way for them to learn and develop.

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    1. Thanks for the comment, your home ed camp sounded fun!!

      I agree that this should apply to girls as well as boys, I truly believe in treating sexes equally, at any age and would never advocate anything different.

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      1. Yeah, I noticed the gender neutralising in your tweet and post – but reading The Times article made me worry , especially the quotes from people like Prof Stephen Scott talking about boys not being as suited to sitting to learn as girls are. Some boys are, some girls aren’t. Why divide it by gender instead of just recognising that the current system isn’t working for all children and needs changing to offer more opportunities to all of them?

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      2. I agree with Rob it should apply to both sexes perhaps if youngster experience this in school they may be calmer out of school not needing to find danger in our streets etc. Hope Gove really means it and gets on with doing it for this school year

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  2. We have been discussing this alot at home at the moment.
    My daughter is seven now, and is now developing a much greater interest in bushcraft. My husband loves it too – he is someone who gets very into something and likes to really explore it. He was a scout, and we do Woodcraft Folk as a family.
    But it only at home and home ed groups that she really gets the chance to use tools, and learn about fire. We have a collection of bushcraft knives developing! And DD1 is learning how to use one, and when we think she is ready she will get a kit and she and her dad will make her a knife.
    The boy girl difference suggested is complete rubbish of course – DD2, who although only 3 has a much greater need for physical challenges, or risks than her big sister, or me – or indeed most of her male friends of any age!
    The other thing I’ve always had a particular problem with is scissors. I now carry my own craft scissors around, because safety scissors are always provided and they are completely useless. A child should learn using tools that do the job, not have to make do with substandard ones because of other people’s paranoia.

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