Ofsted chief voices concern over nurseries taking away climbing frames amid culture of risk aversion

The Telegraph reports that the chief inspector of schools has said she is concerned that nurseries are taking away climbing frames because of culture of risk aversion.

Amanda Spielman, the head of Ofsted, said nurseries and childminders must not shy away from taking youngsters on trips to the park or engaging in outdoor activities due to fears about health and safety.

She said she was concerned about the creation of “overly risk-free environments” and that young children need to be able to discover the world and “run around until they are exhausted”.

The Ofsted chief inspector told the Nursery World business summit in London that while risk should be taken seriously, and children supervised properly, children’s “natural instincts to discover and explore” must not be stifled.

She added: “But we don’t expect you to take away the climbing frame in case someone falls or avoid journeys to the park for fear of crossing the road. 

“It goes without saying that children need physical exercise to develop their muscular strength and dexterity but it is also important that their natural instincts to discover and explore aren’t stifled. This is, after all, one of the ways they learn.” 

She said she understands that parents want to be assured that their children will be safe from harm, when placed in the care of others.

“But my concern is that in doing so, and through the best of intentions, we are creating overly risk-free environments.”

Read more Ofsted chief voices concern over nurseries taking away climbing frames amid culture of risk aversion

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