Fearful business, this litigation

14th May 2004 at 01:00
One of our major teaching unions has apparently advised its members to avoid activities beyond the school perimeter which could place them in situations where, despite having taken all reasonable precautions, accidents to children could occur. The fear is that this could trigger litigation against schools and local education authorities.

What are we spawning? I am saddened by what I can only term "institutional protectionism" and that we really have become the mob watching the emperor amble naked down the avenue of no sense.

How can we have come to this sorry pass?

Imagine a child grown to maturity never having the joy of remembering that day trip to the zoo, the weekend at Robin Hood's Bay, the week in Wales, or that magical visit to Paris to see the cathedral of Notre Dame. All our children will recall of their education will be the palisade around the school playground and the endless round of blandness called the national curriculum with its narrow targets of literacy and numeracy.

What have we begun to nurture but a generation of people bereft of real learning where frogs live in ponds and not in books, where the sea shell is actually washed by salt waves, not placed safely in the locked classroom display cabinet. I do not blame the unions in their response to what legislation has imposed.

The ministry of fear is certainly thriving and Kafka's castle has been soundly built.

May God help our future citizens.

William Robinson 12 Newton Street Retford Nottinghamshire

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