How much responsibility do head teachers have for our children beyond the school gates? Should they ask parents to confirm their child is in bed by a reasonable hour? After all, lack of sleep has been shown to slow educational development. Should they ask parents to confirm to the school that their child has not been fed a high-sugar breakfast? After all, diets high in sugar can lead to obesity, cancer and diabetes.
The email above was sent earlier this month by a head teacher to the parents of kids at a primary school in a quiet area of southwest London.
The school is well meaning enough, but the onerous list above is not matched by one requiring permission from the head teacher before parents drop their kids off at school by car…the very behaviour that creates road danger, air pollution and congestion in the first place.
A positive step by government would be for all schools to be issued the standardised guidance on cycling. At present, policy appears to be drawn up according to the attitudes of teachers and governors concerned, or via the government’s own THINK! Campaign, which unfortunately provides advice on cycling that reinforces the institutionalised culture of victim blaming.
To provide further broader context, the email about the onerous rules surrounding cycling to school was preceded the month before by another warning we parents of the risk of brain tumours in our children – a condition that affects only 0.003 % of British children. With parents bombarded by messages of fear, little wonder so few children in Kingston – and across Britain – cycle to school and are free to lead the independent lives so vital to their development and wellbeing.
The ETA has been voted Britain’s most ethical insurance company 2017.
The Good Shopping Guide each year reveals the good, the bad, and the ugly of the world’s companies and brands, with a view to supporting the growth of social responsibility and ethical business as well as a more sustainable, just society.
Beating household-name insurance companies such as John Lewis and the Co-op, we earned an ethical company index score of 89 – earning us joint-first place with Naturesave.
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The ETA was established in 1990 as an ethical provider of green, reliable travel services. Twenty seven years on, we continue to offer cycle insurance, travel insurance and breakdown cover while putting concern for the environment at the heart of all we do.