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Head teachers claim victory over vending machines

16 June 2004
Head teachers claim victory over vending machines

Head teachers are confident that the Government has accepted their arguments not to ban vending machines selling fizzy drinks, sweets and drinks from schools.

The House of Commons health select committee recently called for a ban in the wake of rising levels of obesity among children.

But head teachers say children unable to buy junk food in schools would simply buy it elsewhere, depriving schools of much-needed funds.

Bob Carstairs, assistant general secretary for the Secondary Heads Association, claimed larger schools could raise as much as £15,000 a year from vending machines.

Both Carstairs and Michael Lloyd of the National Association of Head Teachers were confident the Government would "step back from a Big Brother approach" as dictating what schools provided would require major legislation.

They believe the answer is to offer healthy alternatives and to educate children to balance the consumption of sweets with fruit or exercise.

The Department of Health will not make its response to the select committee's recommendations until the autumn, but said pilot schemes selling fruit, juices and water through vending machines were proving popular.

by Angela Frewin

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