British bulldog becoming extinct

By Ian Dunt

The games which many people associate with their childhood, like conkers and British Bulldog, are disappearing from the playground, according to teachers.

A survey of 653 school staff by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) found that 29% said British Bulldog had been banned from their school.

Fourteen per cent said conkers were banned and nine per cent said leapfrog had been banned.

“Apparently the main problem with conkers is that nut allergy sufferers are increasingly allergic to them,” one primary school teacher said.

The survey highlights the extent to which risk-averse schools are changing the nature of playground games to minimise accidents.

The research, which was published at the teachers’ union conference in Liverpool, revealed that 57% of staff believe there is a growing trend towards risk aversion in schools.

“Pupils need to learn their own limitations, which they can’t do if they don’t encounter risk,” a secondary school teacher from Wales said.

Some 15% of respondents said there were fewer playground games than there were three years ago.