Jan 16 2014 by Sophie McCoid, Skelmersdale Advertiser
HIGH schools in Skelmersdale have banned all fizzy drinks, including energy drinks, in an effort to improve the health of their pupils.
The headteachers of Glenburn, Lathom and Our Lady Queen of Peace have come together to instigate the ban on carbonated beverages.
A letter sent out to parents before Christmas sets out the reasons behind the ban, which came into effect last week.
The letter states that all the schools are concerned about the effect that energy and sweetened drinks have on their young people.
It refers to a number of studies which highlight the fact that the stimulants and additives that are contained in the drinks lead to a loss of concentration, anxiety and irritability.
The schools are particularly concerned that some students are consuming these drinks as part of their everyday diet.
From now onwards, water, juice or milk are the only drinks children are allowed to consume at school.
Students who bring banned drinks into school will have them confiscated and binned and persistent offenders could receive detention or have their parents brought in.
Tim Farr, Headteacher at Lathom High, told the Advertiser: “For some time all three high schools have been looking at this issue. We’ve all had problems with children drinking these high energy drinks such as ‘monster’ before school.
“We’re a healthy school and want to continue to be so and these high sugar drinks are not going to help us on our way forward, enough is enough and we will not tolerate these drinks in our schools any longer.
“The consumption of these drinks is linked to poor behaviour and a lack of concentration which is not going to help our children achieve where they need to to get on in later life.
“The parents and children have been receptive to it and so far I’ve only had to stop about three people and take their drinks off them. We expect people to work with us and if students do bring these drinks in we will follow the schools behaviour policy.”
Karen Ingham, Deputy Head at Glenburn said: “We noticed how many students brought these drinks in and thought it was having an adverse effect on their health.
“These drinks have lots of side effects and it can’t be good for students to be drinking several cans a day. We even had some students just bringing the drinks in and no food which is just wrong.
“We believe the decision to ban the drinks is a positive step for the children’s health and wellbeing.”
However, some parents aren’t happy with the ban. One parent of a Glenburn pupil said: “How dare they dictate whether my child has a fizzy drink or not?
“It’s up to me not them, she’s in year 11 and under pressure to keep on top of her work at school and home so what's the harm in giving her a sports drink to keep her boosted up?”