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School Bans Kids From Playing Football Until They Learn Fair Play

Mike Wood

| Last updated 

School Bans Kids From Playing Football Until They Learn Fair Play

A headteacher at a primary school in Essex has come in for criticism after banning football during the World Cup because students are copying the 'theatrics' of players like Neymar.

Richard Potter, head teacher at Home Farm Primary in Colchester, banned the kids from having a kickabout after he saw a rise in play-acting, arguing and poor sportsmanship from his pupils.

Mr Potter said: "These are four to 11-year-olds who are trying to emulate the older players - this was causing a lot of arguments.

"I am not anti-football at all. This is a learning opportunity to build on their sportsmanship."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

The ruling has not gone down well with parents. One of them, who declined to give their name said "The World Cup should be an event that encourages more young people to get playing football, not less."

"The fact our headteacher has chosen to ban kids from playing football, I feel, is quite shocking.

"There must be another method he can use to discourage children from aggressive behaviour."

Parents discovered that their kids' favourite activity had been outlawed via an email sent by the school on Wednesday.

The decision has also attracted the ire of professionals.

Child psychologist Emma Kenny believes this is wrong for the children and says penalties used in real-life football matches should be "used like real football matches".

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Kenny said: "You can teach them really sensible consequences.

"Send them off the pitch instead like the professionals do.

"Banning kids from football is like tying their arms up.

"Children are resilient and enjoy having competition as well as - they are just mimicking the professionals.

"It is part of the world and it is in our DNA.

"It is a great thing.

"They need that rough and tumble - it is something that is healthy.

"I kind of lose my mind with these things, its like when they put a ban on conkers.

"It happens when we are adults and we are not protected - we need to allow children to experience these things."

Another school in Colchester has also caused outraged by banning pupils from talking during their lunch times.

Friar's Grove Primary School, in Colchester has asked pupils to sit in silence in the lunch hall so dinner ladies can hear their meal orders.

But parents are said to be furious after one labelled it 'not normal or healthy', while another mum compared the policy to The Roald Dahl classic Matilda with headteacher Ms Trunchbull.


Emma Kenny added: "It is the same with anything in primary schools.

"I like to teach parents about other things they can offer when disciplining their children.

"And we have to acknowledge that they are going to learn and leave them to play.

"It is sad we have to sanitise everything with children."

Featured Image Credit: SWNS

Topics: UK News, Essex, Football, schools, World Cup

Mike Wood
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