Ormiston Sandwell Community Academy

Ormiston Sandwell Community Academy

Letter to Parents - Consultation

Dear Parent/Guardian,

As we move towards the end of this term, we are busily preparing already for the new term in September.  I will be writing to you soon with the end of term newsletter, confirming key dates and expectations for the new academic year.

Whilst we are still feeling really proud of the ‘Ofsted Good’ grading, we have already set our sights on our new target: ‘Next stage outstanding’.

You will be aware that student behaviour was judged to be good by the inspectors, but we are now aiming to make that outstanding too.  I wanted to consult you on your views on one potential element of this that I would like to propose.  I realise it will be controversial for some, and readily agreed upon by others, but I need to garner the balance of views before proceeding.

You will probably have followed on the news increasing concerns about young people’s diets, and how this impacts on their behaviour, and in this case, learning.  Specifically, there is mounting concern about energy and fizzy drinks. Therefore, I would like your views on whether you would support us in banning these drinks from the academy?

Below are a few excerpts on some medical views on the topic.

Firstly: energy drinks:

What are the risks associated with energy drink consumption?

The researchers state that the health risks associated with energy drink consumption are primarily related to their caffeine content.

Potential risks associated with energy drink consumption include:

  • caffeine overdose (which can lead to a number of symptoms, including palpitations, high blood pressure, nausea and vomiting, convulsions and, in some cases, even death)
  • type 2 diabetes – as high consumption of caffeine reduces insulin sensitivity
  • neurological and cardiovascular system effects in children and adolescents
  • sensation-seeking behavior
  • use and dependence on other harmful substances
  • poor dental health
  • somewhat ironically, given their association with sportiness, obesity

Secondly: fizzy drinks:

  • The government's chief obesity adviser says parents should only serve water with meals and ban fizzy drinks and juices from the dining table in order to reduce their children’s intake of sugar.
  • She says sugary drinks had a particularly significant impact on obesity because children and adults tended to consume them in addition to their calorie intake from food, not in place of solid foods.
  • "Drink water, that’s the very simple advice," she said.

Below are links to several articles you may wish to read further on.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-31623771

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-29212780

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-26449497

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/10926571/Ban-all-drinks-but-water-from-dinner-table-parents-told.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/lifestyle/wellbeing/diet/9160114/The-bitter-truth-about-sugar.html

Clearly, I do not wish to usurp your role as parents- you know what is best for your children. However, in order to maximise learning and achievement, I would like to recommend we ban these drinks during school hours. This ban is already common place in many schools. However, we will only introduce it here if I have parental support.

Please can you complete the Survey Monkey via the link that has been emailed to you.

Please complete the survey  by 12pm on Monday 13th July 2015.  I will then take a decision, based on the responses, and come back to you.

Many thanks in advance for your views and support.

Yours faithfully

Marie McMahon
Principal