Pupils no longer insured for netball

SHOCKED teachers at an Essex school have strongly criticised council bosses after being told pupils are no longer insured to play netball.North Primary School in Colchester said the Essex County Council decision has forced it to withdraw from an inter-schools netball league.

SHOCKED teachers at an Essex school have strongly criticised council bosses after being told pupils are no longer insured to play netball.

North Primary School in Colchester said the Essex County Council decision has forced it to withdraw from an inter-schools netball league.

The authority will not cover the youngsters to play netball because the traditional game has been taken off the list of recognised sports and instead it is promoting the alternative version of “High 5” netball.

But four members of staff at the school have criticised the decision, saying it was made without any communication from the council.


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Colleen Palmer, Anya Tuckwell, Kate Haggarty and Sheila Walker issued a joint statement after being told schools would no longer be insured for the seven-a-side matches.

They stated: “A phasing-in period would allow the dedicated boys and girls, who have enthusiastically attended an after-school netball club for over two years, to continue to apply the relevant netballing skills they have learned in order to play in the seven-a-side game they know.

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“Yet those who are new to netball could learn to play the High 5 sport meaning a weaning process could take place and as a result no-one would miss out on learning or playing netball.

“Currently we are now unable to play in the league this year because we have been made aware of the withdrawal of insurance from county while other schools that are in ignorance of the situation are still able to play. This is apparently meant to further our children's education.”

But a council spokeswoman said last night: “Essex County Council does all it can to work with schools through the local schools sports partnerships, through which it supports the teaching of sport in our primary schools.

“However, schools themselves also have a responsibility to make sure they keep abreast of all developments in the provision of sports education.”

She added that the national governing bodies for sports also have a responsibility to ensure they communicate all changes and developments to schools properly.

“While Essex County Council supports and works in partnership with Government bodies it cannot dictate which sports are taught in schools,” the spokeswoman said.

“The council's curriculum development sports advisers are always on hand to offer schools any support they need in making a smooth transition to the teaching of High 5 Netball.”

james.hore@eadt.co.uk

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