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School sparks outrage with ban on football before lessons start

PUBLISHED: 17:01 06 November 2018 | UPDATED: 17:01 06 November 2018

Jimmy Barker, 37, who has two children at Moorlands Church of England Primary Academy has called the ban on football before school

Jimmy Barker, 37, who has two children at Moorlands Church of England Primary Academy has called the ban on football before school "ridiculous". Picture: Jimmy Barker

Archant

The early morning kickabout has been a playground ritual for years. Even when a football 
isn’t available a can of coke would do.

The letter Moorlands primary school sent out to parents informing them about the football ban. Picture: Jimmy BarkerThe letter Moorlands primary school sent out to parents informing them about the football ban. Picture: Jimmy Barker

However, that will no longer be the case at one Norfolk primary school, which has given football before school starts the boot because of ‘health and safety concerns’.

Moorlands Church of England Primary Academy, in Belton, near Great Yarmouth, sent out a letter to parents last week warning them their children should not be on the premises before 8.35am unless they were attending breakfast club.

The letter said the school had “recently had a number of issues with children playing football before the start of the school day” and pupils “should not take part in unsupervised football games” before the school doors open at 8.40am.

The warning has angered a number of parents who are keen to encourage their children to let off steam before the school day starts.

Jimmy Barker, 37, from Belton who has two children at the primary school, labelled the ban “ridiculous”.

He said: “It is no wonder that more and more children are playing computer games when sanctions like this get put into place. We should be doing all we can to encourage children to be out in the fresh air and being active, not making it more difficult.

“I think the school should give children more responsibilty to act sensibly rather than discouraging it.”

Deputy head teacher of the primary school, John Siddles, said the school had closed the back gate to the playground to stop children getting on site before school doors open.

He added: “If children are on site before school doors open then they do not have any supervision and if anything happened we would be liable.

“We have a breakfast club which starts at 7.30am which children can attend. The has been brought in following a health and safety review.”

The school has stressed children can still play football at lunch and break times when the required supervision is in place.

The football ban has caused controversy among parents who have taken to social media to have their say.

Kevin Comer said: “Kids will be kids let them be that way.”

Eleanor Dodgson said: “There is a perfectly good playground a few yards away where kids can play - as soon as it is on school premises the school has no choice but to take action.”

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