An English headteacher has decided that the children at his school should be forbidden from a very dangerous practice: playing in the snow.
Headteacher Ges Smith, from Jo Richardson Community School in east London, asserted that his decision was triggered by health and safety concerns as he appeared on Good Morning Britain. The relevant exchange went like this:
Host Susanna Reid: “Oh, come on, sir; it’s just a bit of snow. Let us throw a snowball.”
Smith: “If it was that simple I would let them throw snowballs out there longer. The problem is it only takes one student, one piece of grit, one stone in a snowball in an eye with an injury and we change our view. And we’ve got a duty of care, and that duty of care has got to extend—”
Host Piers Morgan interrupted, “And you literally don’t let your kids near the snow?”
Smith: “What we do is simple rules; actually reasonably applied easily—”
Morgan: “What are your rules, Ges?”
The rules are don’t touch the snow. If you don’t touch the snow you’re not going to throw it. But also there’s a thing about being fit for work; not being ready for school. If you’re soaking wet, your hands, you’re cold, you’ve been involved in a fight, you’ve had something thrown at you, if the last thing you do before you go into school and into the classroom is have a snowball in your face, you’re not ready to learn.
Morgan: “Ges, what kind of kids are you creating at your school?”