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Thursday, July 15, 1999 Published at 17:34 GMT 18:34 UK


Parents asked not to video sports day

Some parents did not want their children to be on video

The headteacher of a Yorkshire primary school has defended his decision to ask parents not to video the school sports day.

David Grundy, head of Shay Lane Junior and Infant School in Crofton near Wakefield, wrote to parents after concerns were expressed that the tapes of children dressed in their sports outfits might be watched by paedophiles.

[ image: Capturing sports day]
Capturing sports day
In a statement issued through Wakefield Council he said: "In a letter to parents I simply said that the school had received complaints about children being video-ed in PE kit and therefore asked parents not to video the sports day this year.

"We had no objections to photographs being taken.

"Most parents complied with this request and recognised that it was made purely in response to concerns which had been raised.

"We do listen to issues raised by parents and this is just an example of our normal school procedure, nothing more."


The Yorkshire representative of the National Union of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) said he was "very surprised" at the request.

"I think people can be a little over-protective perhaps.

"It's not something I'd ever worried about unduly because usually the people who do turn up to these events are parents who are known in the community, particularly at primary school.

"You would think there would be that sort of trust in a small area."

Question of trust

Margaret Morrissey of the National Confederation of Parent-Teachers Association said the headmaster's letter showed how fearful parents were following the recent release from prison of convicted sex offenders.

"I think it highlights the real concern that parents have got with regard to allowing known paedophiles into the community.

"But I also think it is really sad if the school and parents are not confident that those parents with children in the school are going to video their children and keep hold of the videos as part of the memories of their child."

The move comes a year after teachers were asked by the Local Government Association and teaching unions not to apply suncream to children for fear of accusations of sexual abuse.

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