Tuesday April 30, 2013 : GIVE KIDS A MORE BALANCED EDUCATION – LET ‘EM PLAY POKER!
 
Top headmaster's view getting lots of attention
 
Linking children to poker in a speech was always going to attract the attention of the UK media, and comments made by a top headmaster this week have certainly done just that.
 
The point Christian Heinrich, chairman of the Boarding Schools’ Association, was trying to make in a speech to the Association's conference in Brighton this week, was that the twin pressures of exams and health and safety mean that today’s youngsters are left with little time to develop life skills and enjoy their childhood.
 
“Those long hours in our schools offer a wider co-curriculum alongside the extended core of academic subjects, certainly, but also a greater chance to develop the qualities that we would all wish our children to have in spades: the very qualities that hold together society," Heinrich said.
 
"The qualities that suggest there is more to society than just the individual and family. Children and young adults learn about sharing and borrowing, about others’ feelings, concerns and priorities, about self-control and perseverance and, perhaps most importantly, about curiosity, in an environment in which it is possible and much encouraged to learn safely from your mistakes rather than to repeat them."
 
Then came the statement that the media have seized upon:
 
“So I exhort children at my school: ‘Climb trees! Cook your own lunch! Drive a go-kart around the car-park (cordoned off!). Even play poker!’. There’s more to school than classrooms and exams.”