Final whistle blown on school tradition at St Monica's Catholic primary in Milton Keynes

The final whistle to mark the end of school playtime has blown the whistle on itself '“ after it was deemed '˜too aggressive.'

Monday, 23rd May 2016, 1:47 pm
Updated Monday, 23rd May 2016, 3:56 pm

The ban at St Monica’s Catholic Primary School in Neath Hill was revealed in a letter to Country Life magazine, by teaching assistant Pamela Cunningham.

Her letter read: “I thoroughly enjoyed the article about whistles, however at the primary school where I have worked for more than 26 years, the blowing of the whistle to signal the end of playtime has now been banned.

“It’s thought to be too aggressive and some children may be afraid of the noise,” she wrote, “We now have to raise a hand in the air and hope that the children, all 120 of them, can see it and stop playing.

“God forbid that we should have to gather the children in an emergency – I still keep my bone , hand-carved dog whistle in my pocket, just in case,” she added.

However, a top child psychologist has slammed the move, saying that health and safety is fundamentalliy eradicating childhood.

Emma Kenny, a psychological therapist with more than 20 years’ experience said: “I do not know where the basis of their evidence has come from but if a child is taught the alarm system, there is no reason for it to be feared,” she said.

“From my many years of experience with children and working with primary schools, I am yet to find a child who is scared of a whistle.

Show me a playground where children are cowering in the corner and then I’ll reconsider it. I think we are underestimating children – we have forgotten how resilient they actually are,” she added.