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Tinkering with safety

Give kids spears! It's such an obvious answer to today's classroom chaos it's a wonder educational experts have neglected to come up with the idea until now.

Gever Tulley, founder of the Tinkering School in Canada, which runs fee-paying technology classes for budding carpenters and the like, has become a hero among teachers after producing a manifesto pitched just right for today's health and safety-crazed climate. It's called "Dangerous things you should let your kids do" and its aim is to shock complacent parents out of their risk-avoiding stupor. Top of Tulley's list are playing with fire, owning a pocket knife, throwing a spear, and driving a car.

"Let them drive with you in control. Find a big empty space. Fun for the whole family!" he enthuses.

A tot behind the wheel of a Mercedes would certainly liven up the afternoon crush at the school gate.

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