Much of Chancellor George Osborne’s Budget announcement focussed around reforms to the Education System, and a particular announcement that caught the eye was the introduction of a “Sugar Tax”.
This is namely an initiative revolving around taxing Soft Drink companies and reinvesting the revenue from the procedure into Physical Education within primary schools.
Head Teacher, Howard Kemp of Farringdon Community Academy, outlined his thoughts on the initiative: “We really welcome the sugar tax, and putting more money into primary school sport is a really positive thing.
“Twenty per cent of children nationally are obese within the age of 10 and 11, and the statistics are even worse in Sunderland. The more money that goes into primary schools, the better as far as I’m concerned”.
When questioned about the most effective way to utilise the extra funds, Mr Kemp said: “I think the money will go directly to the primary schools and its up to them to spend it wisely, I think where we can get involved is sending qualified Physical Education teachers to create a really meaningful PE curriculum”.
Whilst Mr Kemp outlined the positive financial effect the tax would have in terms of increasing Physical Education funds, he also outlined his concerns that the ban could potentially harm the inclusivity of the Physical education System: “The worry for me is that if the money is just spent on sporty children, we aren’t going to make any impact whatsoever around the obesity problem.
“There has to be programmes set up in Sunderland, which ensure all children can access sport and be active”.
Whilst the Sugar Tax has been well received as a concept, only time will tell whether or not the scheme proves an effective way to drive down childhood obesity. Championed vigorously by such high profile figures as Jamie Oliver, primary schools have been provided with an opportunity to operate a more inclusive and effective Physical Education system.