A headteacher has defended her decision to stop pupils tucking into puddings after lunch, saying the resulting ‘sugar crash’ leaves them “tired and irritable” in the afternoon.

Keri Edge, executive headteacher of Scott Wilkie Primary School in east London, said the money saved will be used to buy energy-boosting snacks like yoghurts and fruit instead.

She explained: “After you leave school, in what other walk of life are you having high sugar puddings after lunch every day? The answer is nowhere.

“Newham has one of the highest levels of obese children in the country and we need to think more carefully about the amount of, and kind of, food and exercise we are offering our children.

“Our children used to sit down with their main meal and pudding and while backs were turned would eat the pudding before the main.

“This has taken away that problem and has given children more time to be outside playing with their friends.

“Even as adults, if we have a heavy lunch time meal then we are generally not good for too much in the afternoon. For children it is even more pronounced.

“We found they were tired and irritable in the afternoon because they have had the sweet pudding but then had a huge sugar crash.

“Naturally this is going to impact on their education, their capacity to learn and retain information and their general enjoyment of school.

“The money we have saved by not offering puddings has gone on a healthy snack. Every morning our children get something to help get them through until lunch.

“Eating sweet puddings every weekday is just not good for you, if you are a child or an adult.”

Ms Edge said that parents, who initially questioned the move, have commented that their children have been more engaged.

Scott Wilkie is a member of the Agate Momentum Trust in Newham, east London.

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