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