Don't lose joy of dangerous games for boys

17th September 2010 at 01:00

Michael Gove has said over the past week that a "bubble-wrapped" culture in the UK has seen teachers become too risk averse when it comes to organising adventure activities and school trips.

If he's right, this is a shame. Learning should be exciting and fun. Adventurous activities can help young people to develop in an enjoyable way, helping them to become rounded individuals who can solve problems and meet new challenges. Such activities obviously need to be properly planned and managed, and there are lots of free help and authoritative guidance available on doing exactly this.

We strongly support the benefits of learning outside the classroom and think the solution to easing any teacher concerns about things going wrong is to give them better training, support and resources so that they feel fully equipped to lead these types of activities.

If we deprive our kids of these kinds of experiences growing up, we will have a next generation of workers who are not risk savvy.

In the next week or so, the Government is expected to reveal its findings from a review into health and safety practice in this country. We welcome the review. It is high time that we tackle the root causes of today's risk aversion, and the public confusion about what health and safety law actually is.

We want children to live life to the full, which will involve them taking some risks. But we just think that common sense and some sensible health and safety measures will ensure they can stay safe and have fun.

Richard Jones, Policy and technical director, Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).

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