January 19 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

7-ENERGY-DRINKS

St Ninian’s High School takes the lead with ban on high-caffeine energy drinks

The Catholic high school has banned energy drinks – one of the first schools to do so — By RYAN MCDOUGALL

St Ninian’s High School in Kirkintilloch has put a stop to the high-sugar and caffeinated beverages, following calls from both teachers and experts in the UK.

Bans like this follow research recently conducted by academics from Fuse, the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health, which revealed that children between 10-14, particularly boys, are likely to buy energy drinks due to their low costs—with some being as cheap as 25p per can—as well as other factors such as branding, appearing ‘cooler,’ and being influenced by friends.

The school’s headteacher, Paul McLaughlin, said the ban has been around for a few months, but that the school has recently revisited the policy to remind pupils of the negative health effects of high-caffeine and sugar drinks. “It was through health and wellbeing we talked to kids via pupil councils—looking at healthy lifestyles—and we really focused on these energy drinks,” he said.

“I suppose it’s a way of educating what the damage to the teeth and such can be.”

Mr McLaughlin added that the drinks were not completely banned at first, with the decision being made following several assemblies and presentations to the school’s year groups and consultation with parents.

“If a parent had told us that they were unhappy with it and didn’t mind their kids bringing energy drinks into the school then that would have been the end of it obviously,” he said, adding that the school wouldn’t seriously punish a pupil for bringing one of the drinks in and that the ban is there purely in the interest of pupils’ health.

“The kids have responded great to it,” he said. “If you can explain the reasons for it then they’re generally happy with it of course. It does creep back in after a few months though, and this is us revisiting it to keep people reminded as to why the ban’s in place.”

Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT (National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers), a body who urged that energy drinks in particular should be banned, said: “These drinks are readily available legal highs and are leading to children and young people consuming high levels of stimulants, with little known about the long-term health impacts.”

He also said ‘teachers are left to deal with’ the effects the drinks can have on their pupils’ behaviour, adding that the lack of awareness surrounding them can mislead pupils and parents into thinking they are ‘just another soft drink.’

Leave a Reply

latest youth stories

‘Bright future’ for youth work after ministers come together

February 23rd, 2018 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

A group of 50 youth ministers gathered in Inverness and...


School welcomes meditating priest

February 16th, 2018 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Pupils at an East Kilbride primary school marked Catholic Education...


Young people urged to ‘change the world’ at Paisley youth Mass

February 9th, 2018 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Paisley’s Catholic youth turned out in their droves last week,...


Faith forum urges Catholics to speak up

February 2nd, 2018 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Catholics cannot remain silent and must ‘take on public engagement’,...



Social media

Latest edition

P1-FEB-23-2018

exclusively in the paper

  • Exclusive extract from Jordan Peterson’s book on Christianity and ignorant atheism
  • The tale of the young mother who won Scottish Schools’ young writer of the year
  • Churches unite to aid refugee boy who lost his mother
  • Parents call for boys to be admitted to all girls school

Previous editions

Previous editions of the Scottish Catholic Observer newspaper are only available to subscribed Members. To download previous editions of the paper, please subscribe.

note: registered members only.

Read the SCO