Now Harpenden school bans birthday sweets for classmates

PUBLISHED: 12:55 22 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:33 06 May 2010

Wood End School in Harpenden

Wood End School in Harpenden

A HARPENDEN school recently condemned by parents for forbidding pupils from playing football in the playground has now banned sweets and cakes for celebrations. A newsletter sent out to parents of Wood End School in Yeoman s Avenue, Harpenden says: We ga

A HARPENDEN school recently condemned by parents for forbidding pupils from playing football in the playground has now banned sweets and cakes for celebrations.

A newsletter sent out to parents of Wood End School in Yeoman's Avenue, Harpenden says: "We gained healthy eating status in 2006 and as such we ask you NOT to send in sweets or cakes to celebrate your child's birthday with their class. This will ensure equality of opportunity for all pupils."

One angry parent said: "What killjoys! My children are outraged. It's tradition that at the end of the school day the birthday boy or girl bring in fun-sized sweets to hand out. This is political correctness gone berserk."

But a spokesperson for the school said: "We have asked that children do not bring cakes and sweets into class on their birthdays because not every child is able to do so and we like to be fair to everyone.

"We also have to be careful because some children have food allergies and could have a reaction to some ingredients. Like most schools we also encourage our pupils to eat a healthy diet."

She added that there is no question of banning cakes and sweets generally, just the extra food brought in for birthdays.

But the aggrieved parent said: "It's a bit of fun. I can't believe it's beyond most people's budgets to buy a bag of fun-size sweets and the pleasure it brings is enormous. All this wrapping kids up in cottonwool is hardly preparing them for the real world."

The previous playground ban was brought in for health and safety reasons after several pupils were hit in the face by flying balls.

Governors at the primary school said it was a "commonsense" decision to ban soccer in the infants' playground. But they were accused of trying to treat kids like bone china.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents was quoted at the time as saying that playground rough and tumble was "an important part of growing up.

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