Children denied chance to develop ‘resilience’ by too strict health and safety rules, warns Ofsted chief –

Safeguarding is part of Ofsted’s routine schools’ inspections and is used to assess leadership, the impact on the personal development, behaviour and the welfare of children and learners.

Next month more than 1,800 inspectors will take part at sessions titled “when is safe, safe: what really matters” around the country.

The materials will reinforce that “inspectors should focus on practice and impact – what is actually happening/and is it working – not policy and process, or ticking boxes”, sources said.

An early indication of the new policy came in April when an outdoor nursery that lets children clamber over trees, roll around in the mud, saw wood, chop vegetables and cook lunch on an open fire was given an outstanding rating by Ofsted inspectors.

David Green, a director of the right of centre thinktank Civitas, said: “Three cheers for Amanda Spielman for drawing a distinction between the real and imagined dangers children face in school. 

“Some schools have allowed themselves to be paralysed by fear that they will be blamed if something goes wrong in a sporting competition or on a field trip. 

“Sometimes they claim that they are responding to the public-liability clauses in insurance contracts, but their ultra-cautious interpretation has never been a legal requirement. 

“When they grow up, children will face the full panoply of life’s risks and the sooner they learn to be resilient in the face of adversity the happier their lives will be.”


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