Lazy teachers, jobsworth council officers, sensationalist media reporting, kneejerk politicians and sharp lawyers and insurers all have a hand in fuelling the health and safety culture. And at the very centre of the mess are some deeply confused values about children.

In the past years we have begun to realise the flaws in this zero-risk logic. The constant stream of jaw-dropping anecdotes – children arrested for building a tree house, teachers having to complete reams of paperwork to take classes to the local church, schools banning chase games – has brought home an insight that should have been obvious from our childhoods: children need challenge. They need adventure. They need uncertainty. And they need risk.

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