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Fidget Spinners banned from lessons in some Kent schools

Poppy Jeffery and Ellis Stephenson

A new craze for a toy you spin between your fingers has got out of hand, according to a head teacher.

St George’s Primary School in Minster, Sheppey, is among several in Kent to ban fidget spinners.

The plastic toys are hugely popular with children. They are held between the index finger and thumb and spun. Some youngsters can also do tricks with them.

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Samuel Nurden, four, from Minster tries out a Fidget spinner
Samuel Nurden, four, from Minster tries out a Fidget spinner

They were originally introduced to help concentration for pupils with ADHD and autism.

A straw poll by KentOnline of schools across Kent found four head teachers had banned the toys from lessons.

These were St George's Primary School, Herne Bay Juniors, Maplesdown Noakes in Maidstone and Thomas Aveling in Rochester.

Other schools, including Wrotham Road in Gravesend and Discovery School in Tonbridge, had decided to let them into the lessons.

In a letter to parents St George’s headmaster, Howard Fisher, wrote: “With regard to toys – we do not expect toys to be coming into school and this includes the latest craze for fidget spinners.

“They will be confiscated if necessary.”

Parent Becci Grieve, who posted on the Facebook page of our sister paper said the Sheerness Times Guardian said: “My daughter loves hers.

"She’s only had it a few days, but seems to find it useful in calming herself when she’s overwhelmed, bored or restless.”

POLL: What's the best toy of all time?

Shannon Cole said: “I think they are a good idea if they are used for the appropriate reason, they are to help people with ADHD and autism that’s the purpose of them but they’ve become a new craze, in schools they have been banned because they aren’t being used in a correct manner and in my opinion I think it’s a shame for the people with ADHD and autism.

“I don’t think it’s a distraction if they are used in the right way.”

Some schools across Swale confirmed they have had issues with children bringing fidget spinners into class.

One head teacher said she struggled during break times to find a pupil without a spinner in their hand.

But deputy head teacher Jenny Baker, of the Discovery School, accused some officials of being “killjoys”.

"We feel that children should be able to be children and we want our children to be able to play,” she said.

"Some schools are just killjoys I think. I don't think they let children just be children.

"I can see in secondary schools they can be disruptive to learning but in our school certainly we recognise that people learn in different ways."

The fidget spinner was invented in the 1990s but it was only towards the end of 2016 that its popularity increased and people began uploading videos of them performing tricks with the gadgets.

It is sure to go into the history books in the same chapter as loom bands, Tamagotchis and Pokemon Cards.

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