Should playing tag in the playground be banned in Primary Schools?
A primary school headteacher has introduced a “gentle hands” playground policy where children are banned from playing tag.
Joanne Smith, head of Rudyard Kipling Primary School in Brighton, has also banned pupils from engaging in any “physical” games. Instead, they are being encouraged to hold hands or clap with each other while in the playground.
But the policy has sparked a backlash among parents who have called for it to be axed as they say their children are left feeling bored during break time.
Mrs Smith explained to parents: “To clarify, ‘Gentle Hands’ does not mean ‘no touching.’ The children are of course allowed to hold hands or play clapping games with a friend should they wish to. Gentle Hands simply means playing games outside that do not need to be physical.”
The mother of a ten-year-old pupil said that the policy is “completely backwards”, adding: “Sometimes, I don’t even know what planet Brighton is on.
“They’re banning children from playing tag – why on earth would anyone think tag is a bad thing? I’m going to teach my son about another game instead, that’ll really scare the snowflake headteacher – kiss-chase.”
It is the latest controversy that the school has found itself at the centre of. Earlier this year, parents launched a petition against plans to demolish the boys’ toilets convert the girls’ into “gender neutral” facilities.
The school said that there have been a few incidents in recent months involving “rough play” and “play fighting” that have made children upset.
The “gentle hands” policy simply means playing games that are not “overly physical and risk hurting or upsetting other children”, they said.
What are your views? Did you play tag at school? Should this policy be extended to other schools? Or is this overprotection of children?
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