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Should children be taught to take risks at school?

Coping with risk and danger should be part of the curriculum, the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) Chair Dame Judith Hackitt has said recently, at a speech to the Royal Academy of Engineering. She believes that the ‘excessively risk-averse’ culture in schools is stifling children’s readiness for the real world.

During her speech, Dame Judith criticised the growing health and safety culture in schools, which she described as “nonsensical”, adding that children should be encouraged to climb trees and play games where there might be a risk of injury. 

She believes we are raising a nation of children who will be unable to properly assess risk as young adults, saying "overprotective parents and risk-averse teachers who do not enable children to learn to handle risk will lead to young adults who are poorly equipped to deal with the realities of the world around them, unable to discern real risk from trivia, not knowing who they can trust or believe."

According to a recent article by The Guardian, one in four schools have now banned tag and British Bulldog games in their playgrounds, and children are not usually even allowed out to play on snowy days at school, let alone allowed to have snowball fights.

"As an organisation we agree that children need to learn about the world, they need to be able to go out and play, instead of being wrapped up in cotton wool,” says Dame Judith...here at The Outdoors Project, we wholeheartedly agree!

Read the full article here The Guardian, 27th March 2016