A couple of days ago, a child fell off his friend's bike on the way to school in the village where we live. He didn't borrow the friend''s helmet, only the bike, and came a cropper, riding up a particularly enticing verge that borders the pavement just before school. It was fairly harrowing, but a quick trip to A&E and the child was thankfully fine. What was NOT fine, in my book was the rumour was that school was going to ban bikes. Excuse me? What about all the other children who cycle sensibly, wear their helmets, and do not muck about? And these are year 6s we're talking about. School has already decreed that children cannot bring their bikes to school unaccompanied unless they have been on the cycle proficiency course run by school. Which happens after half term in the summer for the year 6s. Even if they do muck about, well, can't the children take some responsibility for their own actions? If we don't let children have some freedom, or put them in situations where they can get into trouble at a very low level, how will they cope with more freedom and far trickier or more dangerous situations if they haven't learned how to take decisions and be responsible for them as they grow up? It won't work, it really won't. We are just storing a whole heap of trouble up for ourselves if we carry on like this.
I know that it's all part of this appalling litigation culture that we live in, but please don't get me started on that, or we'll be here all night. And it all boils down to the same thing - that whole heap of trouble that's on its way (as if things weren't bad enough already).
At present, the rumour seems to have died down, but it really wouldn't surprise me. Scooters are already banned. It has been known for school to close in snowy conditions on the basis that the pavements on the hill up to school were too slippy. Er, surely I, as an adult, and the walker of said pavements, can make that decision (and believe me, they are unlikely to be too slippy for me to get my kids to school....
It's the same with things like conkers, Bulldog and all the other things that have apparently been banned from the playground in the glorious name of 'health & safety'. Our school is not alone.
Do you want another crazy example?
Google flapjack. Go on.
Scroll down and the 4th item is not a recipe but a news story. "School bans dangerous triangular flapjack". Seriously.
Apparently in March this year, a school decreed that triangular flapjack could no longer be served after an incident in which a pupil threw a piece which hit another pupil. Perhaps they were playing flapjack frisbee? Conducting a groundbreaking experiment into projectiles? I have no idea. I particular like the quote from the Guardian's report of the story:
"A spokesman for Castle View school said: "I can confirm that the texture and shape of the flapjacks were reviewed following an isolated accident last week."
An isolated incident of flapjack aggression. Good grief. Apparently, flapjack at the school is now only to be square or rectangular. Can someone enlighten me as to why this is less dangerous than a triangular flapjack? Perhaps triangular flapjack can reach a higher velocity than a square or rectangular piece.
I have given up trying to understand these things. Perhaps I am out of touch with reality?
On the subject of flapjack though, I have been carrying out my own review, although this is not an isolated incident, and no one has been throwing anything in my kitchen. Well may be the odd plate, but that's another story.
That recipe that I blogged a few weeks' ago, the one I thought didn't need any improving?
Use 300g of oats and add in 50g dessicated coconut.
And the chocolate drizzle? After extensive testing, I'd say it was pretty compulsory.