Our Pupil Parliament has 8 representatives from across the key stages and a speaker. They were elected by their peers to act as a pupil voice and to assist Mr Davies with some school decisions.
The main focus on their agenda for the Autumn Term was the motion that we should stop sweets being brought into school to give out on birthdays.
The reason for addressing this matter came in part from several parents asking me if we could stop this practice. I asked them to write to parliament to state their reasons. I agreed with this motion as we endeavour at all times to be a healthy school. We teach and promote healthy eating through PHSE and science and being healthy through PE and play. The outdoor gym equipment is just one example of this. Giving out sweets is contradictory to this. We stopped giving sweets for end of term prizes last summer and replaced them with small stationery items
Parliament read the letters from parents, spoke to their classes and weighed up the reasons for this motion with the reasons against.
- Sweets are full of sugar. An average bag of a popular packet of sweets has 7.52 grams of sugar (equivalent to one heaped teaspoon).
- Too much sugar can cause tooth decay.
- Some studies have shown sugar is addictive.
- As a school we should promote healthy eating only.
- Having sweets contradicts with a healthy school.
- Parents feel pressure to have to buy the sweets whether they approve of it or not.
- It can be costly to parents.
- Children and parents will still have the choice of whether they can have sweets at home.
- We have children in school who are allergic to certain foodstuffs quite often contained in sweets.
- We have children that for religious and cultural reasons cannot have certain sweets
- It helps celebrate our birthday with others.
- Most children like sweets
After much discussion and debate, including seeking the views of their classroom peers, Pupil Parliament agreed that the case for stopping sweets being brought into school for birthdays outweighed the reasons against and that we should stop sweets being brought into school.
They understood the reasons why it is an unhealthy practice and not in line with school policy and the motion was supported 7 to 1 by parliament members giving a majority in favour.
They realise this won’t be popular initially with everyone, especially a large number of children, but over time we hope everyone will understand the benefits.
“As The Speaker of the Cliddesden School Pupil parliament, I believe the best option would be to ban sweets, seeing as we are a healthy school in many other ways” – Alize, Parliament Speaker.
Parliament, quite rightly, was keen though to have some other recognition of birthdays. They have requested that all classes have a chart that shows when the children’s birthdays are. We have also bought badges that the children can wear for the day on their birthday so everyone knows and can wish them a happy birthday.
Parliament is also considering choosing a charity for the year so that if children would like to give something on their birthday they can make a small donation.
Cliddesden Primary School
Cliddesden,Basingstoke Tel: 01256 321571 Fax: 01256 333628
Hampshire, RG25 2QU Email:email@example.com