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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 99

Date:- 17 May 2003

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Salt advice to parents will be hard to achieve.

THE Food Commission has warned that new government guidelines for reducing children’s salt consumption will be difficult for most parents to achieve without a significant reduction of salt in processed foods, and better food labelling. 

The new salt guidelines will be issued on 15th May, by the government’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition. As the SACN report notes:- “High blood pressure is common in the UK. It is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and premature death. Reducing the average salt intake of the population is likely to decrease the burden of high blood pressure and improve public health.”

The SACN report Salt and Health is the result of a systematic review of the scientific evidence of the effects of salt on health. It identifies the main sources of salt in people’s diets and, for the first time, sets target daily intake levels for children.

The Food Commission welcomed the Food Standards Agency’s advice to parents but warned that the food industry has strongly opposed and obstructed all previous attempts by government to set limits on salt consumption. 

“A reduction in salt consumption is vital for the nation’s health”
said Annie Seeley, nutritionist for the Food Commission, “but we must see a genuine commitment from the food industry to reduce levels of salt in processed foods if we are to make any significant impact on diet-related stroke and heart disease in the UK.” 

Report with thanks to the Food Commission.

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MARKED ACHIEVEMENTS FOR LIVERPOOL PUPILS

OUR Lady's Catholic High School celebrates on May 19 a hat trick after winning a School achievement Award for the third year running.

The award was made for improving academic achievements in the school in which the school has made staggering progress. A quarter of pupils taking their GCSEs achieved an A to C grade, a big increase on the year before - which also showed a rise to 15%. In 2001, only 12 percent of pupils gained five a-c grades, the year before that it was as low as nine per cent.

Deputy Head teacher Colin McLeod said:- "The staff are really dedicated to the job and go the extra mile to help children achieve that little bit more. We monitor the children's progress closely and put extra support in where it is needed. Attendance rates are now good too, and that is another plus."

As well as a plaque, the school will receive nearly £16,000 from the government for their work. The awards are given to the 7,000 fastest improving schools in the country. Compared to similar schools, Our Lady's Catholic High pupils were judged to have performed better than most schools in similar circumstances. 

Seven other schools in Liverpool are also celebrating notching up their third national Achievement Awards for improved examination successes. They are King David, Bellrive, St Hildas, Cardinal Heenan, St Margarets CE, Archbishop Blanche and St Edwards

Colin Hilton, executive director of education said, "It's a credit to the children and the staff and just shows what can be done when schools work hard to achieve real improvements, and where children look forward to coming to school. This is exactly the sort of improvement that Liverpool has been encouraging."

Report with thanks to Liverpool City Council.

Southport Reporter is a registered Trade Mark.   Copyright © Patrick Trollope 2003.