The former President of the Isle of Man Farmers Union says he has been told some teachers have told students to cut out meat to save the planet.

Ayre & Michael MHK Tim Johnston was speaking during Keys Question Time when he made the claim.

Mr Johnston had begun by asking Education Minister Julie Edge what her dept considers to be a balanced diet.

In a supplementary question, he said: ‘I have received correspondence that some teachers are promoting vegan and vegetarian diets within island schools in order to apparently help combat climate change. It has also been reported that students of at least two high schools have been encouraged to go meat free to save the planet. I do not have an issue with personal choice and any individual has the right to decide what they choose to eat. However can I ask the Minister whether she feels it appropriate that individual teachers promote their personal dietary choices to students?’

In response Ms Edge said: ‘At present there is no DESC statutory or advisory curriculum for aspects of healthy eating diets. However, schools will cover elements in their PSE lessons, science, design and technology on food and nutrition sections and obviously in PE, nutrition and exercise.

‘Schools do design their own curriculum programmes to meet the requirements of the Curriculum Order 2011 and within this it states “all teachers shall promote the personal, spiritual, moral and cultural element of pupils and contribute to their education in the fields of health, samples of resources schools may use the Food Standards Agency, NHS Change for Life Toolkit and the PSHE Associations resource pack Health Education, Food Choices, Physical Activity and Balanced Lifestyles”.’

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