Par­ents dis­gusted as school tough­ens up pupils with rainy day play

The Daily Telegraph - - News - By Camilla Turner

A SCHOOL’S at­tempt to toughen up the “snowflake” gen­er­a­tion by forc­ing them to play out­side in the rain has met with a back­lash from fu­ri­ous par­ents.

The head of Piper’s Vale Pri­mary Academy in Ip­swich has in­sisted that play­ing in the rain is a “nor­mal” part of chil­dren’s de­vel­op­ment but par­ents said they are “dis­gusted” by the pol­icy.

The school – part of the Paradigm Trust – in­tro­duced a “wet play” lunchtime and break pol­icy, ar­gu­ing that it is im­por­tant to en­cour­age young­sters to have ex­er­cise and fresh air.

How­ever, some par­ents have voiced out­rage, with one mother, An­nemarie Fletcher, com­plain­ing that her daugh­ter came home from school “drenched”. She said: “It’s dis­gust­ing – they were made to stay out­side in the pour­ing rain. I wouldn’t have put my dog out there. They were wet and cold all af­ter­noon. For my youngest daugh­ter, we had to put her shoes on the ra­di­a­tor all night to get them dry. My house was like a sauna, and that’ll put up heat­ing bills.”

An­other mother, Gem Digby said that “no­body is ar­gu­ing about a bit of driz­zle” but par­ents are an­gry be­cause the chil­dren were “left out in a down­pour” ear­lier this week.

Ben Carter, the school’s ex­ec­u­tive prin­ci­pal, apol­o­gised to par­ents for not com­mu­ni­cat­ing the change in pol­icy to them. He de­fended the “wet play” ap­proach, say­ing: “Paradigm Trust acad­e­mies place great value on out­door play and ex­er­cise as part of chil­dren’s ed­u­ca­tion and well­be­ing.

“This is why we en­cour­age our pupils to make the most of their time out­side dur­ing lunch and breaks, even in damp con­di­tions. This type of wet play is part of chil­dren’s nor­mal de­vel­op­ment. How­ever, in ad­verse con­di­tions, we will, of course, pro­vide op­tions for pupils to play and be su­per­vised in­doors. The school has writ­ten to all par­ents and car­ers to in­form them of the pol­icy and ask them to en­sure their chil­dren have suit­able cloth­ing.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.