Can it be explained away?
I think I can predict the common responses to our recently received report from the Year 6 height and weights checks. I think this because the results are very similar to last year and I heard attempts then to explain it away. From those two figures a report is produced by individual school, for Sheffield as a whole, the region and nationally that says what proportion of the Reception year and Year 6 population is in which weight category, from underweight to obese.
School Food Standards were introduced quite some time ago. Sports and PE Premium funding is intended to increase physical activity at school for all pupils. This year schools have received funding named 'Healthy Pupils Capital', coming from the 'Sugar Tax' on fizzy drinks and the like.
The measuring programme is necessary to measure the impact of the many interventions in place, and to show the scale of the remaining issue.
Some will say it is that the threshold is too low.
Some will say it is just 'puppy fat'.
Some will say that their child is as active as they can be, so what else could they do?
Some will say it is simply not a problem.
Some will say it is the parents' right to choose their child's diet and nothing to do with the state (the 'nanny state' answer).
Some will assume it is not their child.
Some will blame fast food and changing society.
Some will say that we are doing a massive amount already and there is nothing else we could do.
Whatever the response, the data for this current report says that 26.7% of our Year 6 children were calculated as being overweight or obese, 14.3% as obese. 2% as being underweight. That would be 8 pupils in each class, over 30 in a year group, and maybe 125 in the whole school. Even accounting for a margin of error that is a number that is unacceptably large.
Our interventions over the last four years have not reduced that proportion in our school.
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