Today I have been talking to a friend whose son suffered a rather bad fall early last week after visiting A+E and being told
he had severe concussion and had damaged the muscles in his knee. The hospital asked for him to be followed up at
the end of the week with the family GP and he should have the week off school.
The GP agreed with the hospital that he should refrain from sports but was fine to return to school on Monday.
Monday Arrives and my friend’s son who I am going to call Jake to protect his identity goes to school armed with a note
explaining his fall being seen in hospital and by the GP and how he is to refrain from PE and sports.
Normally this is enough for a child to be told to get a book and sit and read or start doing some homework from another lesson.
So I find it appalling that a PE teacher finds it within their remit to go against these recommendations.
When I was at High school over 20 years ago the week after getting off crutches the PE teacher told me to carry five benches from
one gym down a flight of stairs and round to the other gym on my own. I was fortunate it was the last lesson of the day and I knew
that my Dad would be parked outside as it wasn’t worth him going home having just finished work. I went to where my Dad was
parked and told him what I was meant to be doing and got him to go and see the head. I was never asked to move benches again.
Move on 20 years and Jake is in a similar situation having been told by medical professionals to avoid sports and PE
He hands the note to his Teacher who ignores it and tells him he has to put his kit on, When Jake says he hasn’t got his kit
he was threatened with a detention and told to get Kit out of the lost property and boots. As the class is split into four groups each to
do a different activity. Hockey, Table Tennis, Badminton and Rugby.
Jake is put into the group that will be doing Rugby. A high impact sport where the players are encouraged to tackle each other and do
lots of running.
The result Jake comes home from school with Blisters from the boots being two sizes too small, Bruised ribs that can be physically
seen once his uniform is removed. and his knee injury has been made worse.
When a doctor says that you are not fit for work, it is accepted as the case, so why is that word not true for a 11-year-old within the
educational system?. What gives a teacher the right to over rule the Doctors?
Personally I would have hoped that the way we treat children had improved in the 20 years since I was at school and that if children
aren’t able to physically able to take part in Sports and PE the lesson could be used to learn about the rules of sports, read about
sporting legends or use their time constructively to further their education in some way.
I don’t believe that teachers should have the right to choose what is right for a child when it goes against the wishes of the parent and