Schools chief rails against over-cautious safety rules

The BBC reports that teachers must stop trying to wrap children in cotton wool with over-the-top health and safety policies, the chief inspector of schools has said.

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Amanda Spielman said it stopped the children developing resilience and grit. She wants the education watchdog Ofsted to prepare new guidance for schools inspectors in England.

She said schools had developed an over-cautious culture that made it difficult for young people to cope with everyday events.

Ms Spielman said every minute enforcing a ban on conkers and yo-yos was a minute away from tackling a multitude of real dangers.

“My message to schools is this – keeping children safe from harm should always be your overriding concern but in doing so make sure you distinguish between real and imagined risk.

“Trying to insulate your pupils from every bump, germ or bruise won’t just drive you to distraction, it will short-change those pupils as well, limiting their opportunity to fully take advantage of the freedom of childhood and to explore the world around them.”

Next month, 1,800 school inspectors will take part in sessions to ensure they focus only on the safeguarding of vulnerable children.

Read mores Schools chief rails against over-cautious safety rule

Do you agree? Do you think at schools have become over-cautious due to the ‘where there’s blame, there’s a claim’ culture? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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Categories: Ofsted, Primary, Safeguarding, and Secondary.


  1. Jenny

    Never thought I’d hear myself associating the notion of “like” and Ofsted inspectors, but have to say we like Amanda Spielman. My son laughed at the article, having endured 10 years of H and S Gone Mad, as did I as a teacher. We are churning out a message of fear, not allowing them to experience risk – at our peril!

  2. So obviously Ofsted will be putting in writing its unambiguous guarantee to indemnify all schools, staff, governors and other stakeholders against any and all claims for damages and other charges brought against them by lawyers, HSE, or anyone else. Unless of course Spielman is just virtue signalling in her own special way.

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