Oddly enough - Political correctness gone flipping mad

5th September 2008 at 01:00
It is a relief to see that British schools are not the only ones that get pilloried for trying to promote health and safety.

A state school in Queensland, Australia, became the target of national outrage last week after deciding that its pupils should not do cartwheels or somersaults unsupervised in the playground.

Glenn Dickson, principal of Belgian Gardens State School, said he had been forced to ban those gymnastics because they were officially classed as "medium risk level 2" activities. Teachers had complained that they had witnessed pupils doing them in dangerous situations.

The ban was defended by the school's parent teacher association, but criticised by other parents, the press and politicians. Rod Welford, Queensland's education minister, described the ban as a "ridiculous situation" and called for the policy to be reversed.

Meanwhile, Lawrence Springborg, leader of the Liberal National Party, said Queensland was becoming a nanny state.

"Are we going to have anti-cartwheel officers in our schools? How are you going to do it?" he asked. "Teachers have got enough to do without stopping kids being kids."

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today