TEACHERS have called for a ban on the sale of energy drinks to pupils under the age of 16 as a result of health fears.

The move comes after a raft of concerns over the impact on young people of drinks that are high in caffeine and sugar.

Teachers believe pupils who consume such high-energy drinks can experience mood swings in the classroom as the impact of the caffeine wears off, leading to greater difficulties in teaching them.

Loading article content

There have also been concerns that pupils are drinking the cans on their way to school instead of eating a healthy breakfast.

The fears have already prompted some supermarket chains, such as Morrisons, to ban children under 16 from buying the energy drinks.

Now teachers at the annual general meeting of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) in Perth will hear calls for all stores to ban their sale to pupils.

A motion from the union's Edinburgh local association calls on the EIS ruling council to "campaign for a ban on the sale of energy drinks to all children under the age of 16".

An EIS spokesman said: "Many teachers naturally have concerns over any product that could potentially have an impact on pupil's health.

"There are some energy drinks on the market that are very high in sugars and stimulants, such as caffeine, that could impact on young people's ability to concentrate and learn effectively."

The opening day of the agm yesterday also heard warnings that "unnecessary bureaucracy and excessive teacher workload" were damaging teachers' health.

Phil Jackson, the union's out­going president, challenged the Scottish Government, local authorities and national education bodies to deliver on their promises to cut red tape and lighten unnecessary workload - with strike action an option if they failed.

He said: "Excessive workload and bureaucracy have plagued our profession for decades. We need to see some tangible progress and need to be sure that all who signed up to tackling bureaucracy have played their part. If not we need to be prepared to take further action."

Mr Jackson also criticised the support provided for teachers on the new Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) and its assessments and qualifications.

Meanwhile, in a separate development, teachers and parents have welcomed moves by the Scottish Government to give primary schools more time to prepare for the implementation of the new curriculum.

The move brings primary schools on to an equal footing with the secondary sector, where an additional in-service day for CfE has already been granted.