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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 May, 2005, 20:56 GMT 21:56 UK
Scoubidous banned by school head
Sacha Distel
The name Scoubidou came from the late French singer Sacha Distel
Children at a school have been banned from weaving plastic into key fobs at playtime because it is too dangerous, a headteacher said.

The craze for "scoubidou" is currently sweeping playgrounds across the UK.

The hobby involves creating items such as key fobs and friendship bracelets by twisting lengths of coloured plastic into shapes.

But Cliff Lane Primary School, Ipswich, banned "scoubies" after pupils flicked each other in the face with them.

Headteacher Owain Richards said the decision was made on health and safety grounds.

This was taken very seriously as some children got them caught in the eye
Headteacher Owain Richards

"We banned scoubies following an isolated incident when they were flicked round the face of other children," he said.

"This was taken very seriously as some children got them caught in the eye.

"Until this point I had thought they were useful in providing another activity for children at lunch time, but we had to take health and safety considerations into account and we have a duty of care to our pupils.

"The school has several other alternative activities at lunch time and I have had no complaints from pupils or parents about this decision. Some parents have written letters of support."

Named from Distel

Mr Richards said that around a quarter of the school's 360 pupils, who are aged three to 11, had been involved in the craze.

He said that now if a child brought a scoubidou into school it would be confiscated and given back at the end of the day.

According to the website scoubidou-uk.co.uk, the hobby has been a craze in France since the late 50s with children originally using the plastic coating from electrical wire to create objects.

It says the name Scoubidou came from the late French singer Sacha Distel, who scored his first hit with the song of the same name in 1958.

The website says that one night a group of Distel's fans, invaded his hotel room and presented him with an object made of electrical wire, which they christened a Scoubidou in his honour.

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