UK: Headmaster attacks handwashing course for teachers
Posted: April 29th, 2009 - 10:16pm
They are being taught the importance of using hot and cold water, applying soap and ensuring hand driers are accessible, it is claimed.
In a speech on Thursday, Richard Cairns, head of fee-paying Brighton College, says the training session underlines the extent to which "the health and safety Mafia" is destroying education.
He insists "over zealous" regulations are taking the fun out of school and diverting teachers' attention.
Mr Cairns also warns bureaucracy is adding to workloads - increasing the chances of some independent schools going out of business.
He tells how one London council is running a course for 23 teachers involved in PSHE (personal, social, health and economic education).
A leaflet advertising the two-and-a-half hour course - staged in mid-May - is available for schools within and outside the borough.
"The aim of this course is to outline the importance of handwashing," said the leaflet. "By making sure hot and cold running water, soap and drying facilities are accessible, it will show individuals how to achieve a higher state of body image."
Mr Cairns says: "Now, handwashing matters and children do indeed need to be told from time to time to wash their hands regularly, but do 23 teachers need to come out of school to be taught for two and a half hours about how to use water, soap and drying facilities to improve pupils' body image? Teachers who should have been enthusing children with a love of maths or history or science will instead be learning how to teach children to wash their hands – for two and a half hours."