Sue Freestone

A child who picks up litter might just lead the country

Pupils need to be given the opportunity to learn leadership skills if they wish to – but it is not something that should be imposed on them, writes one headteacher

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Writer and humorist David Sedaris admits he is “obsessed” when it comes to picking up litter. In fact, he is such a prolific rubbish picker-upper that his local council in West Sussex has named a refuse truck after him.

David’s community-spirited exploits recently came to mind when someone asked me if it was possible to recognise a young leader of tomorrow. I immediately thought of a member of Year 8 whom I had spotted earlier that day bending down to pick up a piece of litter from the path and put it in the bin.

This small act might appear a somewhat flimsy indicator of a person’s leadership ...

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