Tower Hamlets schools top London’s league table for healthy living

Bighting comment from 'healthy living' schoolchildren for Tower Hamlets council's chief executive Wi

Bighting comment from 'healthy living' schoolchildren for Tower Hamlets council's chief executive Will Tuckley - Credit: TH Council

Schools in London’s deprived East End are top of the league table for healthy eating and living, it has emerged.

A quarter of all gold awards given out by the Mayor of London are held by Tower Hamlets schools.

More have received gold, silver and bronze from City Hall than in any other London borough.

The local education authority held a celebration on Monday to say thanks for the work the pupils and their class teachers have done, which was addressed by the Town Hall’s chief executive Will Tuckley (pictured) and children’s services director Debbie Jones.

Deputy mayor Rachael Saunders, cabinet member for education, said: “Growing vegetables, healthy choices at breakfast clubs and working on packed lunches can make a big difference to children’s lives.”

Nine-out-of-10 Tower Hamlets schools hold the bronze Healthy Schools award, with a third also having achieved the silver.

The programme was set up by the London Health Improvement Board in 2011 to tackle child obesity and is now run by London’s mayor.

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Schools are the places where children and their families regularly get health messages, in spite of the challenges facing public health in inner London with some of the worst air pollution for children.

The achievements in East End schools topping the healthy living awards table follows a London Assembly report emerging last month into children being exposed to pollution that showed many schools are affected by acute levels of toxic air.

It led to Mayor Sadiq Khan announcing plans to extend London’s clean air emissions zone out to the North Circular and South Circular roads, which he launched on a visit to Sir John Cass school at Aldgate.

Five primary schools worst affected by bad air named in the report include Sir John Cass, with Whitechapel’s Canon Barnett, Tower Hill’s English Martyrs and Poplar’s Woolmore and Holy Family.