Thursday , 26 April 2018
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Fidget spinners: Somerset schools split on whether or not to ban gadgets

Schools in Somerset are taking different approaches to a new playground craze – with some deciding to ban fidget spinner gadgets and others seeing them as a possible learning tool.

Fidget spinners, cubes and toys are proving popular in shops across the UK. Adults and children claim playing with them can relieve stress and improve concentration.

Children with ADHD can benefit from twirling the gadgets in their hands, while trying to concentrate on their learning. However, other children in class can be distracted by them.

Some schools do not think fidget spinners are the right way to improve concentration.

A spokeswoman for Sexey’s School in the south Somerset town of Bruton said teachers were aware of fidget toys and they are not permitted.

She added: “For those students who do struggle to maintain focus, our SEND team has provided them with strategies and other tools to help them.


Fidget spinners are a popular gadget in schools and work places

“If there are any other students in Sexey’s that we are unaware of that feel they need toys to avoid distraction and maintain focus in class then we would encourage them and their parents to contact their tutors or our head of KS3 to discuss other more effective and useful strategies than the toys.

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“The head of KS3 has communicated this message to all staff members in school previously.”

Just down the road in Castle Cary and Ansford, Ansford Academy principal Shonogh Pilgrim is taking a different approach.

She told Somerset Live some students really benefit from fidget spinners but they were only allowed in school with permission.


Ansford Academy is only allowing fidget spinners with permission

She said: “We do have students who use fidget spinners and cubes in school. They do so as part of an agreement with their head of year to support concentration.

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“Students shouldn’t use fidget spinners without the permission of their head of year or tutor. They are very useful for students who struggle with concentration.”

Two other schools in the Somerset and Dorset area told Somerset Live they were not aware of any issues with fidget spinners.

One of the schools had not heard of fidget spinners, while the other said they had not noticed issues with behaviour as a result of the gadgets.


Fidget cubes are another gadget growing in popularity

Schools elsewhere in the country have gone further on the issue – with one school in Manchester describing fidget spinners as potentially dangerous.

All Hallows RC High School in Salford texted parents to explain why staff were banning the gadgets.

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“They are a distraction to learning and can be dangerous. Any fidget spinners seen in school will be confiscated. Thank you for your support in this matter”, the text said.

Like the schools in Somerset, parents across the country have also reacted differently to the fidget spinner craze.

Some seem to support them if they aid concentration, while others fear children who don’t need them to focus will end up distracted.

What’s your view? Email [email protected] or visit the Somerset Live Facebook page to have your say