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School bans sugary drinks in bid to enhance student learning

A school has banned sugary energy drinks which it is claimed can fuel bad behaviour.

Sugary drinks photo
From left, Jazz Gresswell, Nathan Salkeld and David Fraser with a bottle of Lucozade which, along with drinks like Red Bull, are to be banned

William Howard School in Brampton has also stopped some children selling unhealthy food such as sweets and fizzy drinks.

The stance has been adopted as soaring numbers of students turn to high-sugar/caffeine drinks such as Lucozade and Red Bull.

A government adviser warned that the drinks cause major behavioural problems in children and should be banned in schools and possibly from sale to young people.

Assistant headteacher Dave McPartlan said: “William Howard has been a healthy school for many years and as part of this we actively encourage healthy eating and healthy drinking.

"We encourage water as the drink we want students to consume. We have water containers in common rooms and the benefits of this are promoted within subject areas such as personal development and food technology.

“We see this as an opportunity to enhance student learning as the evidence is clear that carbonated, high sugar and high caffeine drinks can have a negative impact on concentration levels and ultimately on achievement.”

The secondary school has also acted as a small number of children have been bringing in sweets, chocolate and fizzy drinks to sell on to their friends.

Staff will search any student they believe may be breaking school rules regarding banned items. Any student found with anything they should not have will be punished and the items confiscated, according to a letter to parents.

Many parents have fully backed the crackdown on energy drinks, and pupils say they support the stance after learning about the effect energy drinks can have.

Jazz Gresswell, 11, said: “If you bring them into school they will give you a boost of energy that might make you go faster in a race, but it is not needed in a maths exam.”

Nathan Salkeld, 12, described the drinks as addictive drugs.

“The dip will make you unable to think and may make you less tolerant to others,” he added.

William Howard School has followed a school in Manchester in banning the energy drinks.

John Vincent, an adviser to Education Secretary Michael Gove, said children could become unteachable after several cans a day.

Cumbria County Council’s public health experts say a standard 250ml can contain roughly the same amount of caffeine as a shot of espresso. “Consuming excessive amounts of caffeine can lead to side effects such as restlessness and irritability,” a spokesman added.

One 500ml can of Red Bull contains about 13 teaspoons of sugar and the equivalent caffeine of two cups of coffee.

Have your say

It is one of my pet hates seeing children drinking such drinks, no child under 18 years should be allowed sports drinks. There used for sports for a reason and not for children. Seeing people even giving them to toddlers absolutely boils my blood, What are parents thinking? Children have enough energy to burn off naturally! I totally agree with the head, they should not be available in schools at all. If given the choice they will buy them and it will definitely be a nightmare to teach those children. Yet again its down to education and not only should it be taught at an early age by parents and schools but as early as possible as time is crucial at the beginning of the building blocks of life. The government should also step up and ban unhealthy foods/drinks at school. Children eat were there given at the end of the day !

Posted by Nichola on 21 February 2014 at 09:26

They just want to exert control. They sell these drinks in the 6 form room and judging by some of the teaching, the consumption of tea, coffee and sugary drinks in the staff room is affecting some of the teachers ability.

Posted by Grae,e on 14 February 2014 at 06:55

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