In the survey of 12,000 parents, by LACA, the Local Authorities Caters Association, 73 per cent said they were in favour of secondary school pupils, up to the age of 16, being banned from leaving school. A third (35 per cent) even wanted the ban extended to sixth-formers in a bid to stop them buying unhealthy food.
Anne Bull, the chairwoman of LACA, said the study should be 'highly persuasive' in making headteachers change school policies.
The Independent reports that Ms Bull admits that whilst adults cannot prevent students buying unhealthy snacks on the way to or from school, they should be encouraged to 'use the school food services more during the time they are at school'.
The poll was launched to mark the start of National School Meals Week, and also found that 92.3 per cent of parents were in favour of all schools having to adhere to a minimum set of nutritional standards within their catering provisions.
Ms Bull said that mums and dads were 'sending out a clear message about their future expectations for school food'.
The Education Secretary Michael Gove has set up a review of school meals which will be carried out by Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent, founders of the Leon restaurant chain. Their findings will be published next year.
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