A secondary school in Camden is claiming to be London’s first ‘water only’ school. The decision to outlaw all other drinks at Acland Burghley School in Tufnell Park was announced in a newsletter sent home to parents.
The ban includes fruit juice, as ‘coloured liquids could cause confusion’ and staff wanted to ‘avoid having to examine drinks’, but sweets and chocolate were cleared for consumption.
Some entrepreneurial teenagers have spotted a business opportunity: to smuggle in soft drinks to sell at inflated prices – “speakeasies” are starting up selling the prohibited drinks. “There is business potential now there’s a gap in the market,” a pupil said. “Gangsters sold alcohol in America when that was banned. Prohibition always leads to supply and demand. That means anyone who sneaks it in can make a lot of money.”
Headteacher Jo Armitage said: “Schools are responsible for showing young people that their own behaviour impacts on their health. We are extremely proud to be Camden’s first water-only school. Students are fully aware that water is a clean, free and healthy drink and that, in comparison, a bottle of Lucozade containing 27 spoons of sugar is only damaging their health. Not only that, without sugary drinks, students are better able to focus on their learning.”
While there are numerous studies linking increased water consumption to better learning, it’s worth noting that this action includes the banning of pure, natural fruit juice and zero-calorie, sugar-free drinks too. Oh, and it seems sugar-laden snacks and confectionery are still OK, too.