Birthday Sweets

8 07 2010

This year, one of the main issues classes have asked School Council to discuss is that of sweets being brought into school as part of birthday celebrations. This was stopped a while ago as part of the healthy schools initiative.

The children of Brookburn Primary, however, have made the following points:

• It is nice to celebrate your birthday at school.
• It teaches children about sharing.
• Staff have birthday celebrations, including cakes.
• We have been taught about balanced diets and sweets are ok when eaten occasionally.
• It’s a fun part of your birthday if it’s on a school day.
• The small amount of sweets brought in over a year won’t make children obese.
• Most people in school – including adults want birthday sweets back.
• Individual classes are aware of children who cannot have certain sweets for medical or religious reasons and they would make sure these children are not left out.
• It makes everyone happy at the end of the day.
• It is not something that would be happening every week.
• What is more important, a happy school or an award?

We have taken the issue to Miss Ferris and she feels that all people linked with the school should be involved in the decision. We would like to know your views as parents on this issue.

“The children feel very strongly about this. Please do not let them down” Ruby Y5/6



35 responses to “Birthday Sweets”

    11 01 2011
      Elspeth (15:03:48) :     

    Hi school councillers,
    I am really glad birthday sweets are back!!
    I HOPE we keep carry on following the rules so we keep sweets/biuscits!!


    2 01 2011
      LEWIS A (23:21:32) :     

    i think we sud bring back sweets

    10 12 2010
      shabiya (17:59:36) :     

    Yes i do think we should bring birthday sweets.

    26 11 2010
      Reuben (14:15:40) :     

    Ye what Otis said.

    26 11 2010
      otis (14:11:36) :     

    I think we should bring birthdaysweets back!

    22 11 2010
      Celia (James and Angus' mum) (23:00:01) :     

    Dear School Council,

    I am afraid I don’t agree with the idea of birthday sweets being reintoduced.
    You guys get enough sweets at the numerous parties you all attend and are able to buy them with your pocket money or are even given them when you behave at the barbers – surely you don’t need any more?

    I have asked a friend of mine who is a dentist about your suggestion and he says that as you know, the fewer sweets that you eat, the better is is for your teeth.

    Also there are also a number of children for whom the additives and colourings in sweets are not good for their health

    I agree with some of the other posts that you could come up with a much better suggestion for celebrating your birthdays!

    21 11 2010
      william (19:20:55) :     

    I think we should bring back birthday sweets, because you don’t have to but you can if you want to.

    18 11 2010
      Theo (18:41:44) :     


    18 11 2010
      Rachel(Eloise's mum) (17:22:01) :     

    I THINK WE SHOULD GET BIRTHDAY SWEETS BACK because my children will be happy
    and all the other children will be happy to!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think the school councilllors have
    put up a very good fight for birthday sweets1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    17 11 2010
      Zoe (Williams Mum) (19:43:02) :     

    I feel that the children have come up with some well thought out arguments around this topic . They are very aware of healthy eating and on the whole choose very sensibly so the odd treat is fine . I don’t necessarily think that a birthday should always be celebrated with sweets so would like to see some further brainstorming from them on alternate ways to mark their birthdays. Come on you lot , get your imaginations going.

    13 11 2010
      Glen Hollie D's Dad (18:14:03) :     

    My family and I would like birthday sweets to come back. Although some have raised valid concerns over dental health, allergies and the timing of giving sweets out, I think that we need to put these into context.
    Often childrens’ packed lunches have fruit shoots/winders and flavoured milkshakes in them as well as other nutritionally suspect items, many of which probably contain a similar amont of sugar. as well as other nasties. Good luck to the ‘yes’ campaign.

    12 11 2010
      claire mikkeys mum (16:27:23) :     

    yes i think we should 😉

    12 11 2010
      chris(florries dad (15:57:04) :     

    can birthday sweets come back

    12 11 2010
      Lucy Mair (11:20:50) :     

    My children have convinced me that they deserve this birthday treat. I think that when children organise themselves and equip themselves with well devised arguments in support of a goal they deserve to be rewarded so that later in life they will learn to campaign for things more important than sweets at school! We are quite stringent about sugar in our household which is why I think they occasionally deserve to be rewarded. I would support sweets being distributed at the end of the school day and taken home – not consumed on school premises – so that parents still have the final word on if and when the sweets can be enjoyed. And yes, there should be some alternative for kids who can’t or aren’t allowed sweets – some sugar free sweets or another kind of treat. Eliya and Camile’s mum.

    10 11 2010
      Angela (Rebecca, James & Benjamin's mum) (21:17:05) :     

    I don’t agree with the idea of birthday sweets and as children from year three downwards have never had them, think it would be a shame to introduce them to these groups where there is no expectation. The idea of parents providing an alternative such as a book for the classroom seems to be a much better idea especially when the school is trying to replace its library resources.
    I was impressed with the level of thought and effort that the school council has put into this argument, I just wish it was something I could agree with.

    9 11 2010
      Alex Pitman - Dougie and Alice's Dad (19:43:46) :     


    Great to see the kids debating this and looking forward to seeing how they answer these questions and challenges.

    9 11 2010
      Jenny Osborne (Lois's mum) (19:38:31) :     

    Thank you to the School Council for writing to us about this. I am a bit worried about this idea. Far more children in Manchester have tooth decay than in most other parts of the country – (over 50% of Manchester children as opposed to an England average of 30%). Tooth decay is preventable in almost all cases.
    It’s a great idea to enable birthday celebrations at school – but perhaps the School Council could consider other ways of doing so, like extra golden time or a fun activity in the class? I feel it puts the school in a position of giving mixed messages about good health, it doesn’t seem right to put the staff in the position of supporting a healthy school policy and dishing out sweets at the same time.

    9 11 2010
      Claire - Janek, Freya & Mikkel's mum (18:48:26) :     

    Well, what a tricky question! I can see both points of view.
    I can’t remember there ever being a huge number of sweets given out…my 3 all have birthdays that fall in the school holidays so it’s never been an issue for us!
    I think that if it is made very clear that the sweet is just a small token gesture so the kids aren’t receiving huge quantities then it isn’t a huge problem.
    I can see that it does raise issues for children with special dietary requirements but I think as long as they are catered for and not excluded, again this is manageable. I teach in a school for children with a range of special needs and on special occasions we provide a range of treats to celebrate events.
    Is it not possible for the PTA or the school to buy some ‘appropriate’ sweets that can be bought by parents so that they have some control over what the kids are eating.

    9 11 2010
      Trish ( kyle's mum) (17:23:09) :     

    I prefer my child to celebrate his class mates birthday with sweets. They could be given to the children at the end of the school day, then it would be up to the parents when they eat them.
    As far as inclusion is concerned I think parents whose child cannot eat sweets could just let the teacher know what they give their children as a treat so that could be included.
    At the moment the only other idea anyone has come up with is to buy their class a book instead, which i found very hard to do because i couldn’t find a book that everyone in the class would be able to read or enjoy.

    9 11 2010
      Nick (00:23:09) :     

    It’s fairly clear that a few sweets once a week are not going to be harmful to the vast majority of children. The healthy eating message is not about eating healthy 100% of the time – children are taught about the ‘food pyramid’ where small amounts of sugar and fat are balanced larger amounts of fruit, vegetables, cereals etc.

    So the real issue is not about health, it is about some children being excluded. Apparently, some parents do not want their children eating sweets in school because of a moral/ethical/religious/political belief. Fair enough, a parent should be able to decide whether or not their own child has sweets at school. But that parent should not be able to impose their belief system on the other children just so that their child does not feel left out.

    There does however need to be some consideration shown for the small number of children for whom sweets are an actual health concern – e.g. children with diabetes and allergies. In these cases, surely it would be fairer for the parents of these children to provide alternative treats for their child to be given at birthdays, rather than have all of their classmates forego sweets.

    I think it’s great that the School Council has questioned the ban on birthday sweets. It’s great to see them enquire into why things are as they are, and it’s great to see them thinking about issues such as fairness and inclusion.

    8 11 2010
      Lucy Pitman - Dougie and Alice's Mum (17:10:43) :     

    I am extremely impressed with the maturity that the school council, both past and present, have showed in putting together their argument. I always felt it was extremely petty to ban birthday sweets and in each class it would be a maximum of 30 days a year. Not a big deal! All health advice is for everything in moderation being the best attitude towards food. A maximum of 30 occasions to be given a small sweet or bag of sweets seems to fit in with that advice to me. You’ve got my vote!

    8 11 2010
      Lindsay (Elspeth's Mum) (14:51:23) :     

    Not keen on the birthday sweets (28+ children in a class equals sweets every week.) Couldn’t there be another way to celebrate a birthday? Extra golden time, for example ? 😉

    7 11 2010
      Helen (Milly's Mum) (20:34:46) :     

    What a great 1st letter from this years School Council! I think the children have really thought about the pro’s and con’s for bringing back ‘birthday sweets’. I agree that they could be brought back.

    At most the children will eat sweets once a week via classmates which is no big deal.

    Could you ask the PTA for a bit of money so teachers have a few spare bags of sweets just in case someone forgets or can’t afford it?

    7 11 2010
      anna violet (18:04:03) :     

    Sorry, it’s another no from the Violet family! No, I don’t agree with the school teachers distributing sweets. It sends out the wrong message, especially when they are told in the nursery to “save your sweets till after tea” by the dental specialists. We’ve had problems with bad teeth having to be removed, too – without this extra daytime input. If parents want to hand them out at the school gates, I have no objection, but I don’t think it’s fair for teachers to hand out these mixed messages. Would they also be expected to check ingredients for vegetarians or children with allergies? We used to find it a big problem with a child with diabetes – up to 30 times per year he had to watch others eat sweets straight away, or he ate the sweets and had high blood sugars – and it was an added and unnecessary stress at school. There will be other children at the school who will need to take care what they eat – allergies, hyperactive conditions, diabetes…

    7 11 2010
      Tracey Charlie, Max and Harveys Mum. (14:07:11) :     

    I think children should be able to choose whether or not they would like birthday sweets. Everything in moderation!

    5 11 2010
      Maryam & Mohammed Dad (21:32:22) :     

    we love to have the birthdays sweets back to school as away of joint celebration among childrens. It does not harm to have a small amount of sweets at birhdays.

    5 11 2010
      Caroline (19:31:26) :     


    4 11 2010
      Julie (20:38:53) :     


    13 08 2010
      Dominique (01:31:28) :     

    Thankyou people! Even though i’m now moving onto year seven this month, doesnt mean i won’t still act like a school councilor ! 🙂 🙂 keep blogging! I want this campaign to LEGENDARY!

    24 07 2010
      Anna (Sacha and emily's Mum) (12:42:19) :     

    I think the children have put forward a very well thought out argument and I agree that there is no harm in children having sweets to celebrate childrens special occasions.

    14 07 2010
      Ian Violet (20:02:23) :     

    I wrote to the Chair of Governors nearly 10 years ago about this issue and was delighted when the teachers at last ceased to act as the parents’ agents for distributing sweets on birthdays. There used to be a distribution nearly every school week. It undermines teaching that the school should be seeking to promote. It is confusing to children – one day they are receiving one message from their teacher (or visiting health professionals) and the next day a different message.

    And, if the tradition is restored contrary to my wishes, how exactly do we deal with the few children for whom it is a genuine problem, which was one of the principal reasons why I raised the issue in Mr Clegg’s time? Receiving something different is not inclusion. The rest of the class showing solidarity with their friend by foregoing the sweets with him/her would be a great gesture, and a learning experience.

    14 07 2010
      david deamer (nyah's dad) (17:18:33) :     

    I think that this is fine… it’s nice for the kid’s to celebrate… and the odd sweet here and there is no problem… and if the teacher’s are bringing in cake! I like cake… I’ll remember to keep an eye out as I pass the staff room…

    10 07 2010
      Andy Hayes (Mia's Dad) (11:03:13) :     

    It’s fine by us to allow sweets on birthdays.

    9 07 2010
      monica[orlaith's mum] (16:48:03) :     

    Im allowing orlaith to have birthday sweets if that is the majority outcome.

    8 07 2010
      Kaleem (18:03:15) :     

    I think there should be no problem why children can bring sweets or cakes to school as part of their birthday as it is a one event in the year which excites them and they only want to share it with other children. So I agree that the school should allow sweets to be brought in. (Kaleem) Isha’s father