Health and safety culture is damaging children's learning in the UK, survey suggests

Friday, June 19, 2009

According to a survey conducted by Teachers TV, almost half of teachers believe that safety measures in UK schools are over the top and curb children's learning.

The survey, which consisted of 585 school staff, found that 44.3% believe safety regulations currently in place at schools negatively affect learning. About the same percentage, however, believed that the rules were not overtly restrictive.

Those who were questioned were also asked to provide examples of the most restrictive health measures in their school. Among them were: banning running in playground, cancelling physical education classes when the grass was wet, and making students wear goggles when putting up posters.

Other examples included banning consumption of sweets due to choking hazard and not allowing children to play with toilet tube rolls.

"Almost half the education workforce feels that health and safety regulations negatively affect students' education and their personal development, along with the education workforce," said the chief executive of Teachers TV, Andrew Bethell.

"The more extreme examples are thankfully not the norm, but schools still need to take into consideration the workforce's concerns when trying to protect pupils," he said.