Children at a Gravesend primary school have been "banned from running in the playground", in a move branded "a step too far" by an angry mother.

Rachael Sparks says her son, 11-year-old Diesel, returned home from Riverview Juniors in Cimba Wood on March 27 upset because he and other children had been told they could no longer run in the playground.

Ms Sparks, 41, of St Hildas Way, told News Shopper: "My son came home on Friday and said 'they've banned running in the playground mummy'.

"I thought I am not going to react too much, too quickly, because kids do get it wrong sometimes.

"I thought I'd check with the receptionist when I took him to school on Monday.

"I went in to school to speak to them as I thought he must have misunderstood, I mean, what else is a playground for in a primary school if not for running around and letting off a bit of steam?

"I was lucky enough to get to speak to the head, Ms Wenban. I said 'I just want to clarify if this is true?'

"She started off by saying we've asked them to slow down a bit, but then it transpired that they had banned running."


The school has since said the "ban" relates to a particular chasing game, which has caused injuries to some of the pupils.

Ms Sparks added: "She went on to say that due to some children not looking where they were going, there had been incidents of bumped heads.

"She claimed due to this it was her duty of care towards the children that had prompted her to ban running.

"They are not allowed to play British Bulldog, they are not allowed to play football.

"I know children do get the occasional bump to the head or grazed knee while running around on the playground but having spoken to a number of parents as well as children, 100 per cent of both expressed that running and getting the occasional minor injury was most definitely preferable to not running at all.

"I don't want to run the school down but I think it is a step too far.

"Kids have been bumping their heads and grazing their knees for hundreds of years."

News Shopper:

Interim co-head of the school Pam Wenban said: "We have asked children to refrain from playing a particular chasing game in the playground as we have found the increasing numbers taking part has caused some injuries, including a fractured collarbone.

"We are concerned for the safety of the children and need to stop this particular game until we can establish a safer way for them to play.

"When the weather is dry and sunny children can run and play more safely on the school playing field."