I remember Autumn days in the playground with hoards of eager children, clutching conkers threaded on to old and fraying laces, waiting their turn to battle it out with the current champion to earn the title of Conker Champion of the school, spectators ducking to avoid bits of and sometimes whole conkers, complete with part of a lace which has finally snapped, flying through the air at break neck speeds.
Snowball fights at break times, the reward for making the slow but necessary trudge through foot deep drifts to get to school.
All key memories of my childhood and yet, these days, H&S dictates that these behaviours are not allowed: children must not be allowed out in snow in case they slip and hurt themselves and heaven forbid that a conker might find its’ way onto the playground. But how are our children supposed to learn how to observe and predict when situations may be a tad more dangerous than normal, or how to deal with conditions and situations that are not what is considered a normal, everyday occurrences, if we are forever preventing them from expriencing these things in the name of H&S?
There are certain plants we can’t plant in the school flower borders because someone has discovered that, if eaten they may be toxic – well I’m sorry but removing a potential hazard is doing more harm than good in my opinion and, anyway, by the time a child reaches school, it should surely know not to eat flowers and berries from plants where ever they are.
The most recent example of this over-bearing nannification of the UKs’ population and, in particular, school children came to light yesterday and I have no doubt at all that it has left most right minded, commonsensical people speechless in it’s stupidity. To be fair, even the Health and Safety Executive itself has been rendered speechless with disbelief this time.
A school in the UK has banned triangular flapjack from its’ lunchtime menu! Why? Because some obviously undisciplined child has thrown a piece of the biscuit at another child and it has hit them in the face. The injury did not require hospital treatment and yet, instead of cracking down on such behaviour within the school, the Head teacher has banned the triangular shape and will only allow rectangular or square flapjacks to be baked by the cook.
This of course makes perfect sense …. not. Let’s see, a triangular flapjack has three hard and pointy corners, whereas a square or rectangular piece has 4! Surely the only safe shape is a round one but, as anyone who has ever had flapjack will tell you ANY form of flapjack hitting you in the face will hurt so why not ban it completely, along with any other hard edged biscuit?