'Don't stop our sweets treat'

A group of schoolchildren have gone straight to the top in a fight to keep the right to buy 20p worth of sweets a week from the school tuck shop. Youngsters from Colby School in north Norfolk have written to prime minister Gordon Brown and a host of other officials in a bid to be allowed to keep their weekly break-time treat.

A group of schoolchildren have gone straight to the top in a fight to keep the right to buy 20p worth of sweets a week from the school tuck shop.

Youngsters from Colby School in north Norfolk have written to prime minister Gordon Brown and a host of other officials in a bid to be allowed to keep their weekly break-time treat.

The school prides itself on its healthy eating policies and won the Healthy Norfolk Schools award in 2006. It was also one of the first to

receive the National Healthy Schools award in April this year.

But now new government school healthy eating standards, which came into force at the start of the

new school term, have put

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paid to the children's weekly tuck treat on a Wednesday.

Teacher Joan Hughes has been helping the children organise their campaign to have it reinstated.

She said: "The children themselves chose to limit what they can spend on sweets to 20p and only spend it one day a week on a Wednesday.

"On all the other days we run a healthy tuck shop, but since the beginning of term have not been able to have this one day.

"The children have written to everyone from the prime minister to Blue Peter and Radio 4 children's programme Go For It.

"They have the support of the vast majority of parents and governors."

The government's new

food rules ban sweets, chocolate, chocolate covered cereal bars, biscuits and

cakes and savoury salty snacks being sold in school.

The children argue that taking their sweets away completely will simply make them more attractive and is not helping to teach them about healthy eating and moderation.

Guidance produced by the School Food Trust, an independent organisation set up by the government to help deliver the new school food standards, says: "It would

be detrimental to carefully plan lunch menus which encourage pupils to eat

more fruit and vegetables, simply to have all of this undone by vending machines packed with chocolate and crisps or tuck shops selling

sweets.

"For this reason there are core standards which are common to lunch and every other outlet where food is served or sold to pupils in schools."

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