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Oz teachers forced to do risk assessments for painting and drawing

Melbourne, Sat, 17 Nov 2012 ANI

Melbourne, Nov. 17 (ANI): Teachers in Australia are being forced to do risk assessments for playful things like painting and drawing under new guidelines for the safety of children, it has been revealed.

Some schoolyards have even banned Tiggy, handstands and even running on bitumen.

But principals argued that children are becoming too frightened "to have a go at things" due to such kind of risk assessments.

The principals also warned that risk-taking is "absolutely crucial to learning and development," with some pupils being visibly frightened of committing mistakes, the Courier Mail reported.

State schools now have a Curriculum Activity Register that records all approved high and extreme-risk activities and some medium ones.

In one of the 134 Curriculum Activity Risk Assessments (CARA), painting and drawing are considered as dangerous as ice skating.

Ice skating, lawn bowls and media studies were rated as medium risks.

Teachers are told that the use of toxic material in painting and drawing activities including glues, pigments and solvents now requires them to document controls or complete a curriculum activity risk assessment.

"Consider obtaining parental/carer permission," teachers are told.

It comes after the Queensland Association of State School Principals (QASSP) warned a senate inquiry "risk management is no longer left to good old 'common sense'."

QASSP president Hilary Backus said while people once walked around uneven pavers or underneath branches, they were now pointing them out and expecting principals to deal with them immediately.

She said helicopter parenting and a desire to protect their kids was hurting learning.

"We are starting to see children actually frightened to have a go at things and frightened of making mistakes - it does hinder the learning process," she said. (ANI)

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