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De-clutter your classroom on us

Dawna Walter, presenter of the BBC's Life Laundry series, is horrified by tales of teachers having to clear their rooms of piles of waste paper left by former occupants.

Now Mrs Walter, who has a degree in education and taught English as a second language to Spanish-speaking children in the US, is offering to clear up a classroom for one TES reader.

"Teachers hold on to things in case they might find a creative use for them in the classroom. But there is no excuse for leaving their mess behind," she says.

In her TV programme, Mrs Walter has persuaded families to empty the contents of their homes on to the lawn and make an emotional decision on what would stay and what would go.

Her offer to clear up a classroom comes after she heard of the pleadings of teachers too scared to open their cupboards for fear of an avalanche of old wallcharts, display work and books.

Some unlucky teachers have told The TES that they spent part of their summer holiday throwing out their predecessor's classroom junk.

Samijo, on the TES website, said: "I am really p****d off about the state of the classroom. I've been in the room seven hours and still haven't even looked at the cupboards near my desk."

"That happened to me last year," said Athro cynradd. "It was made worse that we had an inspection in that first half term. I was cleaning most evenings as well. I still found papers from the old teacher when I cleared out at the end of this year."

Mrs Walter, who founded the Holding Company, a chain of storage-solutions shops, has filmed three series of Life Laundry and written six books, the most recent being Dejunk Your Mind.

"Children should learn at a young age to determine what is important, what isn't important, what to keep and what not to keep," she said.

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