Locked in weighty issue

2nd March 2007 at 00:00
Pupils have taken their campaign against heavy schoolbags to the Scottish Parliament. Sixth years from Rosshall Academy in Glasgow called on MSPs to follow the example of New Zealand and Bolivia which, they said, have created legal limits on bag weights.

School captain Jonathan Cun-ningham told the parliament's education committee that a survey at the school found pupils were carrying between six and 11 kilograms a day, increasing their risk of back conditions such as scoliosis which twists the spine. The pupils were prompted to lobby Holyrood after moving into their newly built PPP school and discovering no space for lockers.

Jonathan, 17, said: "It is ridiculous that some new schools have been built with no extras such as lockers, whereas, for example, Williamwood Secondary in East Renfrewshire has 1,700 lockers."

He dismissed claims that pupils had a say in the construction of the new school, adding their only input was on the colour of the tie. Glasgow City Council said it had provided enough space at Rosshall. However, Jonathan and classmate Colin Kerr, 17, criticised Glasgow officials for declining to visit the school and identify such space.

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