Pupils kept in
PUBLISHED: 11:42 07 January 2008 | UPDATED: 12:45 06 May 2010
SIR,— I read the article (Herts Advertiser, December 13) in which an angry parent complained about the fact that pupils at his son s school were kept inside when it was raining. I can understand Mr Graeme Burnett s frustration. I myself have often had my
SIR,- I read the article (Herts Advertiser, December 13) in which an angry parent complained about the fact that pupils at his son's school were kept inside when it was raining.
I can understand Mr Graeme Burnett's frustration. I myself have often had my children coming home from school whinging about this and that and expecting me to put it right for them. But of course, we are dealing with a school which is an institution with its own rules and regulations. They are concerned with the wellbeing and educational needs of all the children and cannot just focus on mine.
I am however wondering why Mr Burnett resorted to contacting a local newspaper rather than the people he has the problem with - that is the school. I think the article leaves a lot of questions open, such as:
Mr Burnett claims his daughter was kept inside on "just under half the occasions it rained". Where does this data come from? Did his daughter start keeping charts during her infant years - they prevent children getting soaked there too?
As he lives only five minutes away from the school, has the family considered taking the children home for lunch? They could walk home in the rain, maybe have a picnic in the garden and walk back to school, to make sure they get enough exercise and and thoroughly drenched at the same time.
As far as the obesity threat is concerned, can I ask how many after-school clubs his children are attending? Is he aware that there is a large variety of sport and leisure facilities in St Albans where his children could have the extra opportunity to exercise? Nobody becomes obese because it is raining but the amount of food we consume - especially sweet and salty food - and sometimes genetic factors play a much bigger part.
Has Mr Burnett considered becoming a parent governor which would give him an excellent opportunity to work on a "defined policy to refer to when deciding if the children should be allowed outside"?
Has he ever visited the school at lunchtime on a rainy day? Did he get any first-hand experience about how things are handled? Does he know that the children are only called inside if it rains really heavily? Did he see that there are alternative opportunities to exercise in the school hall? Has he offered to be one of the lunchtime supervisors who stand outside in the rain making sure the children are safe?
Has he considered signing an agreement that releases all staff from the responsibility for the health and safety of his son during lunch break? This would enable his son to go out in the pouring rain - albeit by himself - without anybody, apart from his parents, having to worry whether he would get ill afterwards or cause himself an injury while playing in the mud.
As a parent with two children currently attending Bernards Heath Junior School and an older son who left in 2005, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff at the school for keeping my children warm, dry and happy all year round. Oh and they also find the time to teach them a variety of subjects to a very high standard.
Field Close, St Albans.