Playground tig ban and other 'ridiculous' school rules


A primary school in Leeds has introduced a temporary ban on children playing "tig" during break times after "clothes were torn" and pupils were left "upset".

The school has stopped the game, also known as "tag" or "you're it", to allow the children "some time to settle down a bit", according to the headmaster.

The ban is the latest in a line of stories from around England of educational establishments outlawing everyday activities, many of which are remembered fondly from people's own school days. BBC News looks back at other forbidden school pursuits that have made headlines:

British Bulldog banished

Image copyright Getty Images

We start off with a perhaps unsurprising measure many schools enforce.

British Bulldog involves charging towards fellow pupils, a drop of the shoulder to fool the 'bulldogs' and a rapid dash to the safety of the other side of the yard.

These figures are a little old (like the above image), but over a quarter of 653 school staff surveyed by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers in 2011 said it had been banned from their school.

One secondary school teacher said it was "because of the number of broken bones it generates!"

Bonkers conkers

Schools in Wiltshire, Cumbria and Clackmannanshire introduced a ban on conkers over fears the horse chestnuts could trigger anaphylactic reactions.

The Anaphylaxis Campaign said a "common sense approach" would be better, where conkers are put in a safe place after battle and all involved give their hands a good wash.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Conker fights were a popular part of playground games in autumns gone by

Some schools took to allowing their children to take part in conker fights provided they were wearing protective goggles.

A Carlisle headteacher said it was a "sensible" step to shield children's eyes from pieces of flying horse chestnut.

Don't bake a mistake

In January, birthday cakes were banned at a Blackpool primary school as teachers "do not have time" to check ingredients for pupils with allergies.

Parents of children at Norbreck Primary Academy were told cakes taken into school would be "sent home uneaten".

Image copyright Science Photo Library

The headteacher wrote: "I hate to be a killjoy... there are many reasons for this, some of them serious."

Making a heel of it

Pupils in Birmingham had to leave school after teachers said they were wearing the wrong kind of shoes.

Baverstock Academy, in Druids Heath, sent out letters informing families of new rules making plain black shoes compulsory.

One parent reported the "ridiculous" decision led to "chaotic" scenes, with about 300 children being sent home.

The school later relaxed the rule slightly, according to parents.

Pyjama palaver

It wasn't the pupils but their parents who were making a scene at a primary school in Darlington.

Grown-ups on the school run were asked by the headteacher of Skerne Park Academy to wash in the morning and to not drop their kids off while wearing pyjamas.

Image copyright PA

The final straw came when parents were turning up to parents' evenings and even the Christmas show in their PJs, the head said.

Restricted reading

A West Yorkshire head teacher banned books containing stories about pigs from key stage one classrooms in case they offended Muslim children.

The literature was removed from classes for under-sevens at Park Road Junior Infant and Nursery School in Batley.

Head Barbara Harris said the books would remain in the school library for children to read, but added: "We try to be sensitive to the fact that for Muslims talk of pigs is offensive."

Tinsel trouble

Pupils in South Gloucestershire were banned from wearing tinsel to a non-uniform day because teachers say it could cause litter and be dangerous.

Staff at Chipping Sodbury school said the festive decoration could cause injury if pupils tried to strangle each other.

Image copyright Getty Images

Children were sent home with a letter citing "health and safety reasons" for the ban.

The local council said the day was "far from being against the spirit of Christmas" and was in aid of the charity Crisis.

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