This little piggy

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By Damian Kelleher — Journalist

The use of pigs in an education resource recently provoked criticism from BETT. Is there a climate of fear that counters common sense?

Three Little Cowboy Builders

It never used to be like this. Teaching children of primary age was once seen as a golden opportunity, a chance to inspire, to nurture, to challenge. But now, it seems, motivating children can result in teachers and publishers laying themselves and their reputations on the line.

Liverpool schoolteacher Gillian Gibbons knows the feeling only too well. In November 2007, she ended up in a Sudanese court accused of insults against faith and religion after allowing her class of six- and seven-year-olds to choose a name for a teddy bear. They decided on Mohammed. Although Ms Gibbons was spared 40 lashes, she was sentenced to a spell in a Sudanese prison. She was only released after the intervention of two British Muslim peers, Baroness Warsi and Lord Ahmed, who brokered her freedom.

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