Monday, December 12, 2005

Official British Christmas Advice

The British Government is warning teachers that Christmas can be frightening to young children:
Children should be protected from "terrifying" Father Christmas, shielded from "alarming" pantomimes and encouraged not to send wasteful Christmas cards, a Government website has advised teachers.

When arranging Christmas parties in schools, teachers should also avoid arranging games of a competitive nature so that no child feels they have "underperformed", the website said.

Parents' groups said yesterday that if schools followed the advice then children would experience a pale imitation of Christmas.

The advice, on the Teachernet website developed by the Department of Education as a resource for teachers, covered all aspects of arranging a festive party in school.

It said: "For very young children, Father Christmas can be terrifying, and if you are planning a visit from Santa, you'll need to make sure that fearful children are near an exit. Trips to the pantomime can cause alarm, so the same planning applies."

In separate advice on Christmas giving, teachers are told that children should be discouraged from sending Christmas cards to fellow pupils because they are a waste of paper.

"If you have access to the internet then why not try sending electronic Christmas cards?" the advice read.

Children should give their families "experience" presents, like breakfast in bed, as opposed to wrapped presents. "These gifts can appear much more personal, as they have far more meaning and don't come surrounded by useless packaging," it said.
Every time I read a story like this, it gives me a better understanding of why the children of the British ruling classes attend such elite schools as this while those same policy-makers relegate children of the less privileged to attend schools like that.

Update: (12/13) United Press International is flashing the news that the website has taken down the above advice "after attracting ridicule."
See our latest posts over there.