Thomas’ private day school has imposed the unofficial rule.
A top prep school in Battersea has introduced an unofficial ban on ‘best friends’ so that children avoid upsetting fall-outs and classroom harmony is maintained.
The headteacher at Thomas’ private day school believes that having best friends can leave other children ostracised.
“There is sound judgement behind it,” headteacher Ben Thomas told the Daily Telegraph.
“You can get very possessive friendships, and it is much easier if they share friendships and have a wide range of good friends rather than obsessing too much about who their best friend is.”
Mr Thomas said that girls in particular were often troubled by the issue, as they often have triangle friendships where one child ends up being left out.
This isn’t the first time that banning best friends has been discussed.
Last year educational psychologist Gaynor Sbuttoni, who provides counselling for children in London, said that it was becoming increasingly common for teachers to encourage pupils to play in large groups.
She warned that it is natural for children to have a best friend, and that teachers should not get involved with friendships.
“If they break up, they have to feel the pain because then they’re learning to deal with it,” she said.
“As parents, we’re all trying to prevent our children feeling pain, but what we should be doing is helping them bear it and find solutions, rather than trying to take it away.”
Photo courtesy of Photos_by_Lis, with thanks.
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