Thames Water free school programme shares the 'secret life of sewers'

Last reviewed:

Education centre

Thames Water is expanding its education programme to help more young people understand the extraordinary journey water makes when it leaves their homes.

As part of the company’s record £11.7 billion business plan for 2020-25, Thames Water has announced an ambitious target to reach every school age child in its region. Its comprehensive education programme includes hosting on-site school visits and giving talks in classrooms, supported by a wealth of online resources, designed to enhance teaching and learning for primary and secondary schools. 

Paul Hampton, Thames Water’s education manager, said: “It’s essential for us to engage with the next generation of customers and our education centres are a great way to inspire them about the wonderful world of water. Young people are fascinated to find out where the stuff they flush down the toilet goes, and the feedback we get from visits is always overwhelmingly positive. We’d love more schools to take advantage of what we can offer them.”

Since 2015, more than 11,000 school children have visited Thames Water’s education centres in Didcot, Kingston-upon-Thames, Rickmansworth and Slough, for a unique experience to learn about the secret life of the sewers in interactive workshops and exclusive tours of the treatment works.

Two new education centres in London will help the company to host more schoolchildren, at the recently opened Long Reach centre in Dartford and Deephams centre in Enfield, which will open in spring 2019.

Thames Water has also been awarded the Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) Quality Badge, which is a trusted accreditation in giving children the opportunity to experience life and lessons safely beyond classroom walls.

Kim Somerville, chief executive officer at LOtC, said: “We want more schools to take learning beyond the classroom walls but understand that can be a daunting prospect for time-strapped schools. Our LOtC Quality Badge provides peace of mind for teachers. We are pleased that the Department for Education has recognised the value of this accreditation and is encouraging schools to seek it out when planning their educational trips and visits.”

For more information, and to arrange a free school trip, visit