Make litter picking compulsory for primary school pupils who could then pass the skills on to their parents.

Every primary school pupil should be made to pick up litter as part of the national curriculum, a former Tory minister said yesterday. The Daily Mail reports.

Lord Robathan, a defence minister under David Cameron, said that if children in Year Six helped tidy the roads, then general attitudes to littering would improve – because they could teach their parents.

He said: ‘If it were enacted that all children spent a couple of hours clearing litter it might have a gradual effect on attitudes and a positive educational impact.’

He insisted it was necessary to do something ‘specific’ and said children could then pass the skills on to their parents. He added that he raised the idea with Michael Gove, then education secretary, who told him it was an ‘interesting idea’.

In the Lords yesterday, education minister Lord Agnew of Oulton said he agreed about the scourge of litter on Britain’s streets and that the Government was already trying to improve awareness in schools.

But Labour’s Lord Winston said it would be better to focus on the high rates of illiteracy and low rates of numeracy in some primary schools. 

Read more Make litter picking compulsory for primary school pupils who could then pass the skills on to their parents.

A good idea or would it be too difficult logistically? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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  1. Anonymous

    Great idea about litter! Yes, by all means focus on literacy and numeracy rates, but litter picking can be done at the same time by everyone and will help crete a sense of community
    in caring for the environment. If schools can’t be litter free (including the perimeter fences!) we can hardly complain that people litter the streets…

  2. It looks as if he was talking about children ‘tidying the streets’ as part of the Legal requirement of the National Curriculum. Absolutely bonkers, in my view, and a huge waste of teachers’ time…..organising, pre-checking the route for dangerous items and then supervising.

  3. wasateacher

    My Tory Council is reluctant to provide litter bins. it took me about 10 years to get one on open space opposite my house. Perhaps we should start there before using children as cheap labour.

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