Primary school pupils as young as 10 are being probed about their parents' drinking habits and their own, in a survey branded 'inappropriate'.

The controversial questionnaire, which was drawn up by public health bosses at Norfolk County Council, has been circulated around primaries in the county.

The 18-page survey includes a series of probing questions about the home lives of youngsters, pressing them about how often they eat takeaway meals as well as whether gaming or television was limiting their sleep.

It also includes questions about smoking and alcohol habits in their households - asking children if they have ever worried about the consumption of people in their lives and even if they drink or smoke themselves.

While County Hall has said the anonymous form was vital to planning health care for children, parents have questioned its approach - complaining they were not consulted and that some subjects were not "age appropriate".

Eastern Daily Press: Terry MyersTerry Myers (Image: Terry Myers)

Terry Myers, whose 10-year-old daughter Daisy attends Martham Academy, said: "A lot of the questions they asked just didn't feel age-appropriate - quite a lot of parents are annoyed bout it.

"Ideally, I would want to read any questions being asked before my child was asked to fill it in, but that did not happen. "

The survey was aimed at children in years four, five and six, meaning pupils as young as eight were asked to fill it out.

Eastern Daily Press: Martham Academy and Nursery, pictured in 2015. Picture: James Bass

Questions about smoking and drinking alcohol were only asked of children in year six - aged 10 and 11.

However, younger participants were asked about the smoking and drinking habits of their parents and carers.

They were also asked questions about war and terrorism, their mental health and shouting and violence in their homes.

The survey was designed as part of a programme run by the county council called Flourish, an initiative geared at improving the lives of children and young people in Norfolk.

It was produced to help public health bosses understand how youngsters feel about certain areas of their lives.

It was first circulated to schools on December 18 and will run until March 27.

Schools, such as Martham Academy, had to opt in to take part after being given guidance on what kind of questions would be asked and what the purpose of the research was.

A spokeswoman for Norfolk County Council said: "The survey is a health and wellbeing survey designed specifically to cover key priority topics for children and young people in Norfolk.

"These topics include physical health, emotional health, drug, alcohol and tobacco/vaping knowledge and use, oral health and safeguarding.

"The survey is altered for different age groups and covers the topics appropriate to that age group."

Children taking part in the survey were informed they did not have to answer any questions they felt uncomfortable with and "sensitive" questions also included'"prefer not to say' as an option.

It is not clear how many schools opted in, but those that did were sent a pack that included guidance on how to discuss it with parents and carers.

This included a sample letter for parents to be sent that "highlighted the ability of pupils to opt out" should their parents not wish for them to participate.

Eastern Daily Press: Don Evans, chief executive of Broad Horizons Education TrustDon Evans, chief executive of Broad Horizons Education Trust (Image: Boudica Schools Trust)

Don Evans, chief executive of the Broad Horizons Education Trust, which runs Martham Academy, said parents had not been informed due to an "administrative error".

He said: "Neither the school, not the trust, had any involvement in the survey's design - we were simply distributing it at school level on the council's behalf.

"In Martham's case, there was an administrative error which meant parents and carers were not alerted to the survey in advance and that has understandably caused some angst.

"When the headteacher realised her error she sent a full and frank apology to all parents and carers of children at the school."