Wednesday 26 July 2017

Children 'banned from rough play'

Children are being banned from 'rough and tumble' play, a survey of parents found
Children are being banned from 'rough and tumble' play, a survey of parents found

Children are being banned from "rough and tumble" play because schools are too worried about health and safety, a survey of parents found.

Youngsters spend on average just 37 minutes playing during the school day, according to the poll, commissioned by the British Toy and Hobby Association and Play England.

But even this is being carefully controlled, it said.

About two thirds (65%) of parents say schools are too restrictive when it comes to play time, limiting how and where pupils play.

The poll, which questioned 2,000 parents, comes as children across the country prepare to return to class after the summer holidays.

The findings show the majority of parents (74%) believe schools are too concerned with health and safety to let children take part in traditional "rough and tumble" play.

Two thirds (67%) said they were not worried that their children would be hurt while playing at school, and 33% thought their children should be allowed more play time. Despite the restrictions parents feel are placed on their children's play, 85% said school play time can improve learning and behaviour.

Psychologist and play expert Amanda Gummer said: "It is concerning that such a large proportion of parents feel their child's school is restricting their play, and rough and tumble play in particular. While schools need to prioritise safety, play is key to developing social skills including teamwork, communication and negotiation. The playground is the perfect place to learn these skills."

Young children benefit from changes in activity, especially if they have to concentrate hard during the school day, Dr Gummer added.

"Active play in school breaks means that children are refreshed for their lessons and better able to concentrate."

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