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Beeslack “Committed to Improving” Litter Problem

Beeslack Community High School has been forced to issue a statement following criticism of its pupils’ behaviour.

The littering habits of the local high school have been in the spotlight after a community litter pick had to be held to tidy up woodland covered in rubbish.

Now, two months on, little has been done to combat the problem, with the woodland returning to its former waste filled state. Members of the public have since complained to the school, looking to place the blame on someone. Pictures recently circulated on social networking showing multiple ‘cooked deli’ bags hanging from tree branches alongside the A701; a malicious act of irresponsible waste disposal.

These complaints have prompted a letter to be distributed to parents in which the acting headteacher, John Ryan, states:

As members of the Penicuik community we are concerned by the issue of litter. We are committed to improving the situation…

He then continues to list the steps being taken to remedy the problem and change the mindsets of litterers. Amongst these is a pledge to “directly challenge” any pupils dropping litter, alongside litter picks in social education classes.

The letter also highlights the school’s participation in the “John Muir Award” scheme:

For many years all of our S1 students have achieved a “John Muir” award. This emphasises environmental education and has involved activity in the school grounds and Ladywood, such as rebuilding steps, repairing paths and pruning trees. We have also removed major items of debris such as old fridges, bed frames and supermarket trolleys. On a more positive note, our S1 all build a “bug home” and bird box in order to encourage local wildlife;

However, only occurring one week every June, the works undertaken during the ‘John Muir Award’ are unlikely to combat the everyday littering problem. To combat that, a school principal will now oversee the promotion of environmental education. They will work in tandem with a pupil led environment elective group with the aim to achieve Eco Schools accreditation.

Beeslack Community High School say they welcome feedback from anyone and want those who are willing to make contributions to get in touch.

The school itself will undergo managerial changes in August when the acting head is replaced by Ms Lynn Black, of Grangemouth High. She will be faced with falling school rolls and a growing bill for repairs to the fabric of the school building. The deteriorating condition of both Beeslack and Penicuik High Schools has prompted Midlothian Council to undertake feasibility studies into replacing them within the next decade.