Sydney school bans handstands

FEAR of litigation was likely behind the drastic decision to ban Sydney primary school students from doing hand stands, cartwheels and somersaults during recess time, according to a prominent Queensland compensation lawyer.

This week, parents of children at Sydney's Drummoyne Public School were told that following consultation with the NSW Education Department, acrobatics had been banned from the playground.

Bemused Brisbane lawyer Mark O'Connor said on Tuesday that he believed the decision was based on a safety report prepared for the school earlier in the year.

He said that while he struggled with the ban and considered it to be "over the top and smothering", it was almost guaranteed that if the school ignored an official report and a child was hurt, someone would sue.

Parents are campaigning to have the ban lifted but Mr O'Connor said he understood why the school felt the need to protect itself and warned others would probably follow suit.

"Many would agree with those parents who regard the bans as extreme," Mr O'Connor said

"I think it's a school-by-school decision but if there is an official report or caution, then you might see more schools limiting physical play activities.

"If the education department circulated a safety report to all schools that noted any risks with playground activity like this, then it's possible some other schools may also take preventive action to safeguard themselves against possible lawsuits."



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