"Disgusting!": What daily chore does this Cleckheaton school have to carry out for the safety of their pupils?

Howard Park Primary School, Cleckheaton.
Howard Park Primary School, Cleckheaton.

A primary school headteacher who has to pick up dog mess on a daily basis has branded the perpetrators “disgusting”.

Marcus Newby, headteacher at Howard Park Community School and Children’s Centre in Cleckheaton, says he is sick of having to clean up after what he believes to be the dog of one messy neighbour.

“We’ve been having to go out and pick it up for donkey’s years.

“It’s absolutely disgusting. A lot of the mess is close to the railings and within reach of some of our youngest children and it’s a real concern for us.

“It’s a health risk, especially if a dog is ill or has some sort of disease. You’ve got to presume that it’s a significant health risk for the safety of the kids.”

The faeces is consistently left on a path that, aside from through a busy car park, serves as the only route into the school for around 250 children.

“The problem becomes huge when you’ve got prams or children’s feet walking this stuff into the school and treading it into carpets and so on.

“I’d much rather be spending the time I’m out there picking up dog mess in school doing what I should be doing.”

The school have erected a sign at the top of the path asking people to clean up after their dog, but it has as of yet made little difference.

Mr Newby has been headteacher at Howard Park since September 2015 and says this is a recurring issue for many primary schools in the region.

“There’s a few schools that I’ve spoken to that have said they struggle with this sort of thing and it’s not particularly rare, my previous school had an issue with it, too.”