Thursday, August 28, 2008

shell drawing

Tim spotted this beautiful line of white shells that cuts across the beach at Shingle Street in Suffolk...what dedicated holidaymakers!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

snug cosy

Thanks to Jo Klaces for knitting us this beautiful Snug & Outdoor tea cosy.
The pot has never been snugger, our tea breaks never more inspirational!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

summer party

Partygoers, including our administrator, Karee Barclay and daughter Kemi, at the Snug & Outdoor/if:book Summer Bash, plus young guests having fun with bits of Snug kit. Oh, happy day!

kids need risky play

"A major study by Play England, part of the National Children's Bureau, found that half of all children have been stopped from climbing trees, 21 per cent have been banned from playing conkers and 17 per cent have been told they cannot take part in games of tag or chase. Some parents are going to such extreme lengths to protect their children from danger that they have even said no to hide-and-seek."

'Children are not being allowed many of the freedoms that were taken for granted when we were children,' said Adrian Voce, director of Play England. 'They are not enjoying the opportunities to play outside that most people would have thought of as normal when they were growing up."

Thanks to Bob Stein for spotting this article from the Guardian.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Appeal Court judgement changes law on risk in playgrounds

In a landmark ruling, the Court of Appeal has made an important judgement which goes some way towards rebalancing the law in the field of health and safety.

It has quashed the conviction of a Head Teacher who was prosecuted under the Health and Safety at Work Act after a tragic accident in which a child fell down some steps in the school playground and subsequently died. In it's ruling, the Court concluded that there was simply no evidence that the child was exposed to risk by the conduct of the school as required by the statute.

The judgement makes clear that from now on, in order to prosecute under the Act, the authorities will need to prove that the injured person was exposed to a real as opposed to a "fanciful or hypothetical" risk to health and safety. Previously the courts had given the term 'risk' it's ordinary meaning of denoting the possibility of danger rather than actual danger.

Mr Porter had run the preparatory school since 1975 which catered for children aged 3-16 years. It was not a purpose-built school, and part of the site was located in a disused quarry. There was a higher and lower playground which were linked by a set of brick steps. The school had a superb safety record and there had never been an accident on the steps.

The accident happened during supervised playtime. Having made his way down the steps, the child (aged 3 3/4 years) jumped from the fourth step from the bottom, lost his footing and fell. He suffered a minor head injury and was taken to hospital where he subsequently died after contracting MRSA.

The Head was prosecuted under section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Under this section, he had a duty to ensure as far as reasonably practicable, that children were not exposed to risks to their health or safety by the 'conduct of the school'.

In his judgement Lord Justice Moses gave helpful guidance as to how the courts should approach the question of whether a risk was real or hypothetical. The fact that there had been no previous accident on these steps was relevant. So was the fact that there was nothing wrong with the design or construction of the steps, nor did they create a foreseeable risk of danger. Significantly, there were numerous other places in the playground from which a child might choose to jump. He said that the fact that a young child might slip, trip or choose to jump from one height to a lower level is "part of everyday life". Where risk is part of everyday life, it is less likely that an injured child could be said to have been exposed to it as a result of the conduct of the school.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008