Playground plea: ‘As safe as necessary, not as safe as possible’

Schools are being urged to “take the benefits of risk” into account when planning and managing their school grounds.

A declaration by the International School Grounds Alliance (ISGA) says that school grounds should be “as safe as necessary, not as safe as possible”.

The ISGA is a global network of organisations, educators, architects, planners and researchers, including the UK-based charity Learning through Landscapes.

The declaration has been endorsed by all 54 ISGA Leadership Council members, from 16 countries and six continents and was presented at a conference earlier this month in Berlin.

It points to research showing the benefits of risk-taking and arguing that “indiscriminate risk-minimisation policy can be a source of harm”.

It states: “Since the world is full of risks, children need to learn to recognise and respond to them in order to protect themselves and to develop their own risk-assessment capabilities.”

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