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    "If you've been injured through no fault of your own you could be entitled to compensation. If you're unsure if you could claim, I recommend you call Accident Advice Helpline."

    Esther Rantzen

    Health and Safety News

    Risk-taking headteacher to advise on safety

    By Jonathan Brown on February 22, 2016

    Risk-taking headteacher to advise on safety

    A headteacher who believes in pushing children outside their comfort zones is to have his say on health and safety.

    Mike Fairclough, head of West Rise Junior School in Eastbourne, has let primary children handle shotguns, encourages them to play with fire and has a herd of wild water buffalo on school grounds.

    He will meet with Dame Judith Hackitt, chair of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to discuss how youngsters can learn from dangerous experiences.

    Embrace danger

    West Rise came to prominence when it was named TES Primary School of the Year in 2015.

    It has an innovative curriculum, which lets students go clay pigeon shooting, tend bees and smelt iron. They even slaughtered a pig on one occasion.

    Dame Judith will visit the East Sussex school in March in a bid to demonstrate that health and safety need not mean wrapping children in cotton wool.

    Both her and Mr Fairclough agree that only by embracing the danger, with correct health and safety measures in place, can children learn.

    Live animals

    Mr Fairclough keeps a herd of water buffalo on-site to encourage children to engage with the animals, while he also runs a forest school in nearby marshes, where the youngsters get to grips with everything from saws to axes, as well as learn how to make fire.

    He says it is all about getting the students to step out of their comfort zones, partaking in things they never would have thought of doing before.

    His ability to assess danger – and yet still take risks – led to a collaboration request from the HSE.

    Source: TES

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