Cake off Menu at Scottish Schools; Home Baking Breaches Healthy Eating Law

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Byline: Graham Grant Home Affairs Editor

IT is a tradition enjoyed by generations of parents, pupils and teachers, while helping to raise money for charity.

But the sale of home baking at school 'bring-and-buy' sales has now been banned across Scotland - under laws aimed at combating childhood obesity.

Hundreds of schools have told parents that pupils will no longer be permitted to bring in cake and sweets to raise money for charity.

Even the sharing of birthday cakes in classrooms has been forbidden in some areas as officials try to encourage healthier eating.

Last night, Scottish Tory deputy leader Murdo Fraser branded the restrictions 'utterly ridiculous'.

He said: 'For generations, Scottish youngsters have happily shared birthday cake and participated in cake sales, which are a good way of developing cooking skills as well as raising valuable sums for charity.' Schools in Aberdeenshire, South Ayrshire, East Lothian, Clackmannanshire plus Dumfries and Galloway have either banned cakes or introduced rules to restrict them.

They claim to be enforcing the requirements of the 2008 Schools Health Promotion and Nutrition Scotland Act, which banned sweets, chocolates and fizzy drinks from school canteens and vending machines and limited deep-fried food to three servings a week.

The Scottish Executive said that while the legislation was not intended to ban the consumption of cakes and confectionery on special occasions, it was up to individual schools and local authorities to choose how to interpret it.

A spokesman said: 'The regulations include exceptions for some special occasions.' In Dumfries and Galloway, headteachers have been told to 'make a professional judgment on whether to allow home baking into the school. …