Reverend backs energy drinks ban at Thomas Ferens Academy
A REVEREND has backed a decision by Orchard Park's newest school to ban high-caffeine energy drinks.
As reported on the front page of yesterday's Mail, Juliet Strang, principal of Thomas Ferens Academy, believes the drinks disrupt learning.
In July, St Mike's Youth Project, also in Orchard Park, banned the sugary drinks.
Staff and volunteers now encourage young people to drink water and juice instead.
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Reverend Anne Richards, the project's manager, said behaviour has improved markedly since the ban was imposed.
She said: "There has definitely been a big improvement since the ban we imposed in the summer.
"Hopefully, teachers at Thomas Ferens Academy will notice a similar improvement in pupils' behaviour."
Reverend Richards said its programme of activities were sometimes disrupted by young people who consumed the drinks.
She said: "It is important young people are in the right frame of mind when joining in activities.
"Young people also need rules to follow.
"When we imposed the ban we were really quite shocked at what little young people knew about their health.
"They had no idea what such drinks did to their bodies."
Reverend Richards said staff have talked to young people about the drinks so they know the reasons behind the ban.
She said young people are free to bring in other drinks, including isotonic sports drinks.
Staff will also provide healthy refreshments, such as water, during sessions.
Anyone caught with energy drinks will have them confiscated.
Previously, St Mike's Youth Project, which runs activities each evening, said it was aware some local retailers were selling the drinks cheaply.
Ms Strang said, if given free rein, some pupils would drink litres of these drinks each day.
She said: "I have banned them because of the effects they have on students' behaviour.
"They make students hyper. They behave less and lose concentration and focus."
Thomas Ferens Academy is one of a number of Hull schools to have banned energy drinks.
Stewart Edgell, head teacher of Endeavour School in Beverley Road, has banned them, insisting, in some cases, they make children "more lively".
Hull City Council said it is for school governors to decided the rules on energy drinks, but it supports schools wishing to "encourage pupils to make healthy choices".