‘Sugar tax’ delivers a £250k sweetener for schools in Tower Hamlets

Schools in Tower Hamlets schools have been given funding derived from the ‘sugar tax’. Pic: LBTH

Schools in Tower Hamlets schools have been given funding derived from the sugar tax. Pic: LBTH - Credit: Archant

Money raised from the ‘sugar tax’ has provided a £250,000 sweetener for schools in Tower Hamlets which will improve pupil’s physical and mental health.

The cash collected from the levy on full fat soft drinks has been allocated to the schools through the Healthy Pupils Capital Fund (HPCF).

A total of 41 schools in the borough successfully placed a bid for HPCF funding by illustrating how they will use the cash to improve pupil's physical and mental health through new projects and facilities.

Beatrice Tate School, a secondary specialist school for pupils with severe learning difficulties, successful bid for a wheelchair accessible school garden for growing and cooking fruits and vegetables that provides a calm space for their pupils.

Alice Woodhouse, a teacher at the school in Southern Grove, Mile End, said: "With raised planters and adapted easy grip tools, it will create a place for students to grow healthy ingredients to use in their food preparation and cooking activities.

"In addition to the many therapeutic benefits gardening offers, this fruit and vegetable garden will further ensure our students are equipped with the knowledge of where their food comes from and the skills to prepare it themselves."

"Providing students with the tools, knowledge and experiences to manage their mental health, wellbeing and physical health has an important role in education and impact on our students' learning.

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"We provide a whole-school approach to wellbeing, taught across the curriculum and enriched by initiatives led by specialist staff.

"We are dedicated to promoting and protecting students' emotional wellbeing and good health."

In London more than £100m of revenue has been allocated to schools from the sugar tax which was introduced in April last year.

Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs said: "It is great that so many schools have taken advantage of the funding towards refurbishments, equipment and programmes that will contribute to the overall wellbeing of their students.

"This will increase children's access to active play and lifelong skills such as growing their own food and cooking healthy meals."

Councillor Amina Ali, cabinet member for adults health and wellbeing, added: "I'm delighted that Tower Hamlets schools are getting access for funding for crucial projects to improve physical and mental health. It's so important for us to promote healthy eating and quality food for young people."

The council recently signed the Local Government Declaration on Sugar Reduction and Healthier Food Charter which means it will improve the availability of healthier food and drinks in the borough.