Dorset

Birthday cakes stopped by Dorset school

Cakes
Image caption Younger children will be allowed to wear party hats rather than eat cakes

A Dorset primary school has stopped pupils from bringing in birthday cakes and sweets over health fears.

St George's Church of England Primary School said treats were being brought in at least once a week as part of celebrations and after family holidays.

The move was backed by both parents and children at the school in Bourton, which will fly an England flag instead.

Head teacher Michael Salisbury said: "There's just too much sugar coming into school."

The village school is also starting to grow its own vegetables as part of its healthy eating programme.

'Cake buying culture'

It said children on the school council were involved in discussions and agreed, an idea supported by the parent body.

They will be phased out after the half term holidays.

A St George flag will be flown outside the front door of the school when pupils, staff and governors celebrate birthdays.

Younger children will be able to celebrate by wearing party hats.

Teachers will still be allowed to treat children at times and bake in class throughout the year.

Mr Salisbury said he believed it was not the only school to ban cakes.

"Our parents think it's a very good idea and I have been really impressed by their views coming through and that they are not passing cakes over the school wall.

"We have got too much into the cake buying culture as a society.

"We are not saying don't have a cake on your birthday, we are not draconian about it, we just want to be in control of the amount."

St George's has about 90 children and recently joined the Health School Plus initiative, which promotes healthy eating across the south west of England.

"There's just too much sugar coming into school," Mr Salisbury added.

"At most, our biggest classes were maybe on average having one once a week. It just became too much."

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