We are aware of a piece being run in the Oxford Mail - online and in print - about Aureus' policy not to allow sweets and sugary snacks or drinks at our school.
This policy has been in place since the school opened and spot checks of a few students suspected of having purchased a large amount of sweets and sugary drinks or energy drinks has always taken place.
The story does not relate to a change in policy at the school. The story refers to a recent bulletin to parents following concern from staff members about the volume of sweets and sugary snacks being purchased at Asda and brought into our school. For background, a member of our leadership team is based outside Asda most mornings to help students get to school on time. It is these staff members who have noticed an increase in students purchasing large amounts of sweets first thing in the morning.
In our bulletin to parents, we stated that we will be carrying out spot checks at the school gate to ensure that all sweets are kept in reception until the end of school but we would like to make it clear that these spot checks are not new and are only for those suspected of buying a large amount of sweets.
This is in line with our vision for healthy minds needing healthy bodies; we have always taken a strong stance on sugary food and drinks being brought onto the school site.
Since the opening of Asda, the school has worked positively in partnership with the store manager to support positive behaviour in the community. In store, students see a community agreement poster reinforcing expectations of Aureus students as ambassadors in the store.
Our commitment to healthy eating is a significant part of our well-being strategy, which includes our healthy lunches and educating our students to avoid unhealthy snacks. Our proactive approach to our students' well-being has won praise nationally and last month we became one of just six secondary schools across the whole country to receive a Gold Status award from the Carnegie Centre of Excellence Mental Health Award for Schools.
Our school also made positive headlines last week when BBC Radio Oxford’s Breakfast Show and BBC South both reported on Aureus’s award-winning work on improving children’s mental health.