An easy win- swallow a tablet every morning, cope with the unusual aroma generated with each burp and reel-in better exam results? Durham LEA were involved in ‘trials’ of fish oil tablets (sponsored of course by a fish oil tablet manufacturer) that were meant to explore their effectiveness on concentration and GCSE results. Rather grand claims were made about the results, and thankfully Ben Goldacre of BadScience.net delighted in pointing out the fallacy of both the ‘trials’ and their interpretation. Job done you would have thought, but the claims carry on... I leave you to pursue the evidence for yourself via Ben’s website, but for those short on time the evidence is clear: the trials so far are mostly rubbish, and those of merit show no influence on educational outcomes. Surely then, with such an evidence base no school would be daft enough to buy into the idea? Don’t draw a hasty conclusion. Schools continue to fall for easy fixes, including fish oil tablets. Click the image to the right to open a PDF extract of a school’s newsletter to parents. Page two delightfully advocates fish oil tablets to the reader as a strategy for enhancing student achievement.
Fishy claims- and still schools swallow them     
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