SCHOOLS would be forced to banish added sugar and restrict unhealthy food if a new bill goes ahead.

Layla Moran is set to introduce a bill in Parliament today, in a bid to improve the nutritional quality of school meals.

The Oxford West and Abingdon MP, who is a school governor and former teacher, hopes it could tackle issues of obesity and poor health among pupils.

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Named the School Food Bill, it would require all food in publicly-funded schools to be free of added sugar by 2022.

It would also enforce further restrictions on the serving of foods high in fat, salt or sugar.

The bill would make all state schools, including academies and free schools, legally obliged to follow its standards.

According to Ms Moran, academies and free schools are not under any statutory obligation to do so.

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She said: "The School Food Bill represents a step-change in healthy eating in schools.

"Childhood obesity and poor dental health, to name two key problems, can be significantly improved by making simple changes to the regulations on school food.

"We want to see schools place a greater emphasis on preparing children for life, and healthy eating is an essential part of that."

The bill would amend the School Food Regulations of 2014, introducing stricter rules for all state schools to stick to.