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Wednesday, 14 February, 2001, 12:26 GMT
Row over school's biscuit ban

A mother has taken her six-year-old son out of class, in protest at a school ban on biscuits and confectionery at break time.

Catton Grove First and Nursery School in Norwich, Norfolk has been running a no confectionery at break policy for many years.

Our rule applies at break times, when they are in our care, because we think that is a sensible policy

Sylvia Trafford, head teacher
But Bernadette Purvis, 34, says her son, Christopher, should be able to eat what he likes and wants to get the school's "no biscuit" regulation overturned.

Norfolk County Council has said education officials would meet the head teacher, Sylvia Trafford, to try to resolve the dispute.

But the Mrs Trafford said she was hoping to resolve the issue with Mrs Purvis herself and did not want it to be blown out of proportion.

'Sensible policy'

"We do not have a no crisps or no biscuit rule in school," she said.

Children could eat what they liked when they arrived at school and were waiting with their parents before school started - and they did, she said.

"Our rule applies at break times, when they are in our care, because we think that is a sensible policy.

"I have said I am quite happy for Christopher to eat a biscuit before school starts but the parent insists that he must eat it at break time."

Mrs Trafford said Christopher was expected to be off school for the rest of the week, as he was ill.

Healthy eating

A spokeswoman for the county council said it encouraged schools to adopt its healthy eating policy.

But she stressed that particular rules about what and when pupils could eat were a matter for individual head teachers.

"We do run a health schools campaign, but this particular rule is the responsibility of the school," she said.

The authority would have a discussion with Mrs Trafford about what was happening at Catton Grove, the spokeswoman confirmed.

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