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Headteacher defends BAN on fizzy and flavoured drinks in school

Rhyddings pupils can buy bottles of water for 20p in the move to improve their health

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Regan Whittaker and Tayyab Hussain. Pictures by Andy Lambert

A headteacher has defended a ban on pupils bringing fizzy and flavoured drinks into school.

Paul Trickett sent a letter home to Rhyddings Business and Enterprise College parents informing them of the policy change.

The school had already barred energy and high sugar drinks from its premises - but has now extended this to fizzy and flavoured ones.

Instead, water will be sold on site at a cost of 20p for a 500ml bottle in a move designed to improve health and concentration.

The policy, coming as the country basks in a heatwave, has sparked a mixed reaction.

Joanne Clarke, 47, from Accrington, has two children at Rhyddings and says her daughter Emily, 12, does not like water.

She said: “The school is there to educate them. This is a step too far, confiscating any drinks that aren’t water.

“Especially in this hot weather.

“I agree with them not selling anything other than plain water but my daughter takes a packed lunch with flavoured water but takes the label off. It has no fat or sugar.

“That is my choice as a parent.”

Headteacher Paul Trickett, Alisha Ali, Crystal Davis and Liam Godfrey.

She added: “The school is fantastic, but this is just ridiculous.”

Mr Trickett said that a sweetener called aspartame - found in some flavoured waters - is of particular concern.

He told the Observer: “We have a responsibility to our young people to make sure they have healthy habits and we have kept to that principle.

“We are not trying to dictate what people drink, but do what we think is right.

“There are proven learning, memory and concentration benefits to having water.

“It is not a big deal but it is much healthier.”

The school, on Haworth Street, Oswaldtwistle, posted the policy change on its Facebook site, prompting a host of comments from parents.

Some said it was going too far, but others wholeheartedly agreed, praising it as a health-conscious move and a good example to children.

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In the letter Mr Trickett he urged parents to support the move and to ‘only provide children with water to bring to school as other drinks will not be permitted’.

One concession that has been made is that pupils are allowed to bring in cordial to mix with water - as long as it does not contain additives and sugar.

  • What do you think? Email our letters page at accringtonobserver@menmedia.co.uk.