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It's time to get Ruth-less

So decluttering guru Dawna Walter may soon be chucking out carefully hoarded cornflake boxes and wrinkly worksheets in a classroom near you. She reckons most people are happier minus a third of their belongings - but can she tackle the stuff causing real headaches in schools this term?

Picture the energetic Life Launderer in a head's office. "Why do you need all those mugs? Oh, in case the Ofsted spot inspection team arrives. But what about all those chairs - and those packs of aspirin? For emergency meetings to change the staffing structure this term, right. But six boxes of tissues? I see - for when you tell teachers they're losing their management allowance..."

Perhaps Dawna Walter is needed at the top. "Ruth Kelly, there are 19 education acts here, all created in the past 20 years. Now you want a new one. What for?"

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