[BPSDB]I previously wrote here on the Times OnLine’s slightly inaccurate description of the effect of ‘Health & Safety’ on school science practicals and illustrated my point with examples of supposedly banned experiments still performed at my school. One commenter pointed out that this was really just anecdotal evidence and countered with an anecdote of her own to the effect that practical work had decreased at the school attended by her daughters.
This is a very fair point. While it is a fact that a short discussion with a CLEAPSS or Health and Safety Executive staffer will confirm that the supposedly banned experiments are in fact perfectly legal, it is quite possible that some teachers have a misconceived idea as to what they are allowed to do (probably from reading shite articles in the press and on line). What the Times article does not tell us if this is how widespread the problem is – assuming it is in fact the case.
I emailed Professors John Holman and David Phillips to ask what evidence they had to say that practical work was being restricted. Phillips never bothered to reply but I did get a courteous reply from John Holman which, however, did not add to what had appeared in the article.
I emailed again, requesting a link to any evidence that he had and stated explicitly that I am a blogger and intended to blog on the matter. As yet, he has not replied. Draw your own conclusions as to why.