CONCERNS have been raised about the effects energy drinks are having on pupils' behaviour at a Tivyside school.

The problem was highlighted at a meeting of Newcastle Emlyn Town Council, where Cllr Maureen Webley said the issue involving youngsters from Ysgol Gyfun Emlyn had been brought to her attention.

She said: "The school is concerned about the number of pupils drinking energy drinks before school.

"It has noticed a marked deterioration in behaviour after they have been consumed."

It was suggested that the council could contact local shops and ask them to stop selling the drinks before school but councillors said that was outside their remit.

Cllr Cefin Evans said: "Something like this would have to come from the headmaster at the school if they have a concern.

“It is not up to us to get involved but perhaps there are health issues involved and it should be taken up with the kids in school."

As a result of such concerns, campaigners in Britain, including celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, have urged the Government to ban selling energy drinks to children.

Several leading supermarket chains have announced a voluntary ban, among them Waitrose, Morrisons, Co-op, Aldi, Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Lidl.

“As a responsible retailer we want to sell these products in line with the labelling guidance,” said Simon Moore, Waitrose’s director of technical and corporate social responsibility.

“These drinks carry advice stating that they are not recommended for children, so we're choosing to proactively act on that guidance.”

The National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers has blamed energy drink guzzling for poor behaviour. The group has called for research in the area and supported the major store restrictions.

More than one in 10 teachers who responded to the NASUWT Annual Big Question Survey 2017 cited energy drinks as a key cause of poor pupil behaviour in schools.

A typical energy drink contains 32mg of caffeine per 100ml and a single 500ml can contains 160mg of caffeine, equal to a mug and a half of instant coffee. Warning labels on energy drinks say they are not suitable for children yet they can be legally bought.

Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT, said: “We hope to encourage the Government to produce national guidelines on recommended consumption levels of caffeine for children.

“These drinks are readily available legal highs and are leading to children and young people consuming high levels of stimulants, with little known about the long-term health impacts.

“Teachers are left to deal with the effects these stimulants have on pupil behaviour.

“There is a chronic lack of awareness about the effects of these drinks which many pupils and parents think are just another soft drink.”