Time to embrace paperwork

2nd December 2005 at 00:00
Wernher von Braun, the German-born rocket scientist once said that, "we can lick gravity, but sometimes the paperwork is overwhelming"

None of us likes paperwork and naturally we see the increasing demands to "tick the boxes" as stifling, even damaging to education. That is a strong argument, particularly as our professionalism should be enough to satisfy the demands for accountability. However, these arguments would not be enough to assuage the fears of many parents, particularly in the light of last week's tragic caving accident in North Yorkshire.

Accidents of this nature are, fortunately, rare. Work by schools on risk assessment, offsite safety management, and new licensing arrangements for adventurous activities, have created a safer environment for pupils.

We would not want to see a situation where pupils were denied the opportunities for education in the broader sense, particularly as these can stimulate areas that classroom activities cannot reach, and last a lifetime.

Perhaps it is time to see the paperwork involved as enabling adventures that can have a profound impact on the education of children in our care.

Neil Roskilly

Principal, Cambridge centre for sixth-form studies

1, Salisbury Villas

Station Road, Cambridge

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