School bans kids from eating pudding at lunch because it makes them sleepy

A primary school has banned lunchtime stodgy puddings such as jam roly poly and treacle sponge because it says they give children a sugar crash, leaving them tired and irritable.

Instead Scott Wilkie Primary School, in east London, is using the cash saved to provide healthy morning snacks such as fruit bowls, yogurts, and cereal bars.

Keri Edge, executive headteacher at the school in Custom House, said: “After you leave school, in what other walk of life are you having high sugar puddings after lunch every day? The answer is nowhere.

“Newham has one of the highest levels of obese children in the country and we need to think more carefully about the amount of and kind of food and exercise we are offering our children.

“Our children use to sit down with their main meal and pudding and while backs were turned would eat the pudding before the main.

“This has taken away that problem and has given children more time to be outside playing with their friends.

“Even as adults, if we have a heavy lunchtime meal then we are generally not good for too much in the afternoon. For children, it is even more pronounced.

“We found they were tired and irritable in the afternoon because they have had the sweet pudding but then had a huge sugar crash.

“Naturally this is going to impact on their education, their capacity to learn and retain information, and their general enjoyment of school."

Ms Edge says some parents initially raised concerns about the move but now back the scheme, having noted an improvement in their child’s engagement.

She added: “We have a very strong relationship with our parents and they trust in our expertise when it comes to educating their children

“We have a very strong academic track record but we also care deeply about the welfare and wellbeing of our children.

“Eating sweet puddings every week day is just not good for you, if you are a child or an adult.”

Scott Wilkie is part of the Agate Momentum Trust based in Newham, East London.

The school is among the best in the country with progress scores in core subjects, such as reading, writing, and maths way above the national average.

The school hit the headlines last month when they announced they had extended the school day for an hour to help children catch up after Covid.

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