Safety first, but all life is a risk

Tes Editorial

I agree with Jenny Cooper's letter (TES, March 19) - one fatality is one too many and each one is a tragedy. The Professional Association of Teachers has had to support members who have had the same dreadful experiences.

My point was (TES, March 5) that no area of life is risk-free but the risk of an accident on a school trip is very small and certainly much less than on many other activities children participate in every day.

If some people think that we should stop school trips because of a small number of accidents (in the context of thousands of school trips or millions of individual pupil visits), should we follow that logic through and ban cars because hundreds of children a year are killed in road accidents?

While we must strive to improve safety we should be careful about calling for an activity to be stopped, especially when the benefits of trips are so great.

PAT members voted in favour of school trips at their 2001 conference. I am glad that Ms Cooper and I can agree that "safely conducted and properly supervised school trips are an important part of education".

Jean Gemmell General secretary, PAT Friar Gate, Derby

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