I wonder what “Spenner” would have made of it all?
Apparently one of our great British traditions – the school trip – is in decline.
A survey by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers blames excessive paperwork, lack of time and a risk-averse culture.
Also disappearing, it seems, are traditional playground games like British Bulldogs and conkers, as we conjure up a myriad ways of wrapping kids up in a cotton wool obesity time bomb.
Now, everyone knows, or has known a “Spenner”. The reckless character at school who never learned his limitations despite encountering risk at every possible opportunity.
“Spenner” got waist-deep in mud at Bridlington Harbour, trapped under the hypercaust at a Roman settlement near Hadrians Wall, and dangled over the cliff at Flamborough Head.
After going AWOL, and delaying the bus home for three hours, he cut his finger on a gift shop souvenir pen knife.
He climbed onto the school roof to spray the hockey team with a fire hose, but grazed a yard of skin as he surfed back down the wall. Spenner was as thin as a rake, but he managed to get his head trapped in the railings.
And despite his obvious ambition to be the school Colt Severs, his gormless parents always maintained he was never to blame for his inevitable injuries.
Nowadays, in a welter of health and safety regulations and risk assessment forms, “Spenners” have become a disappearing species.
The real reason that kids are increasingly namby-pambied, is that schools and teachers fear being sued if something should go wrong.
And in these days of where there’s a blame there’s a claim compensation culture, a latter day “Spenner” and his grasping progenitors would become richer than Croesus. If he survived past the age of 14.
DISCLAIMER: All Spenners appearing in this rant are fictitious, and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.