Lessons to be learned

CHILDREN today are wrapped up in too much cotton wool – to the extent that it is detrimental to their wellbeing, as far as I m concerned. The outrage voiced by people opposed to the Channel 4 series Boys and Girls Alone is misplaced in my view, and I m su

CHILDREN today are wrapped up in too much cotton wool - to the extent that it is detrimental to their wellbeing, as far as I'm concerned.

The outrage voiced by people opposed to the Channel 4 series Boys and Girls Alone is misplaced in my view, and I'm surprised childcare experts have responded in a similar vein after scenes of crying, fighting and bullying were aired on the show.

In the real world, it's a sad fact but bullying goes on and children should be equipped to deal with it, if and when it rears its ugly head.

Children taking part in the Boys and Girls Alone series had the support of a psychologist 24 hours a day, providing them with a safe environment to tackle issues and problems they may face in their every day lives. Youngsters don't have the luxury of such support in the playground.


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Roy and Lucy Robinson, from London Road in Hitchin, allowed their 11-year-old daughters, Holly and Lizzy, to take part in the series. Lucy said she has noticed how, since the filming, her children have become more independent and confident. No doubt the children who took part in the series will have learned a vast number of skills which will better equip them for the future - how to compromise, share, debate and be tolerant, to name a few.

But what I do have reservations about is the wisdom in taking children out of school for two weeks to film the programme, especially as Holly and Lizzy had SATS exams to concentrate on. Yes, they had a tutor with them but the disruption to their education could well have been detrimental, especially at such a crucial point of their schooling.

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Education is paramount and, as I have said before, I personally don't think children should miss school unless absolutely necessary.

However, it must also be said that those who took part in the social experiment will have learned a lot which cannot be taught by teachers.

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