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article imageGirls And Boys Won't Go Out To Play

By Michelle Duffy     May 6, 2007 in Environment
Sights like the one pictured here will be a thing left to the imagination come the opening up of a new UK 'super school.'
The UK is about to unveil a new 'super school.' It will be the most expensive state school in the country, knocking the middle class private schools off their incredibly high pedestals.
Mr Alan McMurdo will be at the helm of the new school in Peterborough which has cost a massive £46.4 million. In a statement where he said, "What the public want is maximum learning," the Thomas Deacon Academy, will hopefully deliver just that, but there will a couple of dozen fingers crossed behind backs when it hits the town in five months time.
There will be, however, one giant item missing. Something that is the epitome of school days and happy learning - there will be no outside play area.
It has, as you can imagine forced some mouths to drop to the floor and there has been quite a public outcry against the decision of no fresh air for the children.
Mr Tim Gill, has been at the head of the official inquiry into the lack of a children's playground. He quite bluntly said that it, "borders on inhuman".
So what will 2,200 pupils do with themselves to let off steam during morning and afternoon headache making sessions in stuffy classrooms? The idea, strange as it may seem to millions of us, is to make sure that the great outdoors does not interfere with the children's learning. We wonder at which point of the grand scheme of things did they think up that one?
The children and parents, as a real kick in the text books, will not have a choice in the which school they can go to as the new "super school" will replace three others in the area.
Mr McMurdo, who came up with the controversial idea told BBC News,
"This is a massive investment of public money and I think what the public want is maximum learning. They recognise that youngsters can play in their own time, play in their local communities. What I want from my teachers is maximum teaching and I want maximum learning from the youngsters."
So what about social learning? Playground games, relaxed interaction with other children? Fun, for Heavens sake?
Tim Gill, who is an expert in the art and importance of child's play says,
"It's symptomatic of a way of thinking about children that we have to control and programme and manage every aspect of their lives. That seems to me to be extremely damaging in the long-term because children need to have some time where they take responsibility and they make everyday decisions about what they're doing."
The name of the game here, apparently is about revitalising secondary education. I guess that's what they will call it. Parents who will be effected by this child welfare abandonment by their school will call it a few choice words of their own come September....
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