Nursery staff back keeping glitter, poll suggests

There may be concerns about its effect on the environment, but a poll suggests glitter will still be adorning children's artwork for some time yet.
Should glitter be banned?Should glitter be banned?
Should glitter be banned?

Almost eight in 10 (78%) nursery workers said they would not like to see their own nursery ban the substance.

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A debate over whether glitter should be banned erupted at the end of last year after one chain, Tops Day Nurseries, announced it would introduce a ban due to concerns about the damage to the environment.

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But the poll indicates that many are unlikely to follow suit.

Karen Elizabeth Hatton, who runs Wilderness Pre-School in Guildford, Surrey, told the Press Association her young pupils self-select the arts materials they use from a craft bar.

"We have it on our craft bar, but it isn't used excessively," she said.

Ms Hatton said she is aware of environmental issues and when she orders the substance she will look to see if there are "more ecologically sound" versions.

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"There are some things that need watching - for example, we have banned nuts as they are dangerous to children - and there are environmental issues around glitter, but we won't be banning it," she said.

"It can become a bit nanny state."

Cheryl Hadland, managing director of Tops Day Nurseries, which runs 19 sites across the South of England said she felt "sad rather than surprised" by the findings, adding: "It shows how really important it is that we get the word out to our colleagues in the sector.

"I would have had the same opinion only six months ago. I believe that when colleagues in education, and indeed more humans, understand what damage we are doing to the environment - with microplastics and one-use plastics - that they will start to do whatever they can in order to protect our world for our children and for tomorrow."

:: The survey questioned 1,092 nursery owners, managers and workers between January and March