Published in the newspaper this week

I’m glad that your correspondent Pauline Hunter (Japan can teach us a lesson, i, 22 June) is in favour of school children cleaning their classrooms. Our students do that and more. Every day they vacuum all areas, dust, mop the floors in the toilets, wash up in the kitchen and so on. They do this because we have a joint resources committee of students and adults that decides on finances for the building.

The students understood that cleaning would cost money so they agreed to do it provided that money saved was then available for extra learning resources and for drinks, bread etc in the kitchen for them to use freely. When our dishwasher broke down they decided that we did not need to replace it and instead they would hand wash. The money saved also goes into the pot.

As they are in teams with responsibility for cleaning each room this is part of the whole ethos of our college (for thirty three  9-17 year olds) of learning to work collaboratively by doing real work. The joint resources committee is another example – and if young people are trusted they can and do make sensible decisions.

Dr Ian Cunningham

22 June 2018