Anger as pupils sit in litter in rubbish assemblies

A mum has rubbished a school for making children sit among piles of litter to teach them about the environment.

Donna McGrath of Valley Way, Stevenage was left fuming when her son Jordan, 13, came home from Barnwell School last week and said he had been told to sit in assembly among litter crawling with ants.

The 32-year-old, who called the school to complain, said: “My son said he had had the worst assembly this morning. A few of the other parents are absolutely stunned. They are going to be doing it all week for the different age groups.

“The teacher said they do it every year but it’s the first time I’ve heard about it. I’m disturbed by the whole thing, but parents didn’t know they were doing this. What is going on?”

Paul Barnett, deputy headteacher at Barnwell, said the school had been holding assemblies on a litter theme for ten years to teach pupils about looking after the environment.

“In the assembly members of staff scatter items of dry litter around the hall to help to effectively raise awareness of green issues with students in a thought provoking way,” he said.

“They have proven to have a significant impact in helping students to appreciate and look after their surrounding environment.

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“Unfortunately, on one day some ants got into the litter and we can only apologise for any upset this may have caused. We take the care of the environment extremely seriously within our community and have been praised on many occasions for the positive effect the appearance of the school has on our learning environment.”

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