‘Red flag’ day plan fol­lows mess left by school leavers

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Mixed Fortunes For Luxury Hotel - By Rachael Woods

A sys­tem of ‘red flag’ days has been agreed be­tween a coun­cil and Home­wood School af­ter par­ty­ing school leavers trashed the recre­ation ground.

Ten­ter­den Town Coun­cil’s grounds­man was faced with a big clean-up op­er­a­tion last month af­ter Year 11 pupils headed for the recre­ation ground fol­low­ing the school leavers’ as­sem­bly.

Cig­a­rette pack­ets, con­doms, can­is­ters and bal­loons, vodka bot­tles, bro­ken glass and sand­wich and crisp pack­ets were among the trail of rub­bish left on the ground in the wake of the im­promptu party on June 16.

Ten­ter­den town coun­cil­lor Cal­lum Knowles de­scribed the football field as “a scene of dev­as­ta­tion” in the af­ter­math, with the im­pact felt all the more as the Armed Forces Day cel­e­bra­tions were due to take place on there the next day.

Sally Lees, prin­ci­pal of Home­wood School, speak­ing at the time, said that she was dis­ap­pointed that the lit­ter had been left and is­sued an apol­ogy on be­half of the pupils in­volved.

Mrs Lees has since met with coun­cil­lors to agree a plan to man­age fu­ture cel­e­bra­tions and a sys­tem of ‘red flag’ days has been de­cided upon.

She stressed that the teenagers in­volved in the lit­ter­ing were a mi­nor­ity of the 2,000-pupil school and that once dis­missed from Home­wood’s premises, the school did not have a ju­ris­dic­tion over them, only in­flu­ence.

It was agreed at the meet­ing that on school leavers’ day, pupils would be let out of the build­ing later to re­duce “time avail­able to so­cialise on the recre­ation ground”.

Other key events in the school cal­en­dar where cel­e­bra­tions were ex­pected would be ‘red flagged’ to the coun­cil who would no­tify Ten­ter­den’s PCSO and com­mu­nity war­den, who would then be asked to pro­vide cover.

Home­wood has also agreed to pro­vide staff for any clean-up op­er­a­tion needed if mess has been left by pupils.

Town clerk Phil Burgess said: “We stressed at that meet­ing that the very last thing we wanted to do was to spoil their fun but it was im­por­tant that the recre­ation ground was kept in good con­di­tion so that ev­ery­one can en­joy it.

“We asked the school to clear up af­ter fu­ture end-of-term par­ties and of­fered the help of our own grounds’ main­te­nance team. We also dis­cussed ask­ing com­mu­nity war­den Jo Vos and PCSO Ol­lie Welch to co-or­di­nate their shifts to co­in­cide with the Year 11 leav­ing as­sem­bly.

“Our meet­ing was very con­struc­tive and is an ex­cel­lent ex­am­ple of what can be done when the town coun­cil and com­mu­nity work to­gether pos­i­tively.”

Home­wood School did not re­spond to re­quests for a com­ment.

Mess on the football field af­ter pupils held a party

Prin­ci­pal Sally Lees

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