Norfolk school lifts ban on pupils entering Sainsbury’s store

North Walsham High School. Picture: John Fielding

North Walsham High School. Picture: John Fielding - Credit: Archant

A Norfolk school has lifted a ban on children entering a Sainsbury's store after just four days.

North Walsham High School supported the supermarket in imposing the ban last Friday. It applied to all pupils wearing school uniform, unless they were accompanied by a responsible adult.

It followed several incidents of shoplifting at the North Walsham store by pupils wearing school uniform last week.

The news was met with a mixed response on social media, but headteacher Neil Powell said at the time that it was a short-term measure. He said most of the pupils were 'incredible'.

He said today: 'The whole purpose was short-lived. The key part was consultation with stakeholders. The most important thing was to talk to our children about common responsibilities. We put together a whole student team and students will go to Sainsbury's on Friday to take part in Sport Relief to engage with the community.

'They will be taking part in a fun-run and competing on rowing machines with Sainsbury's staff.

'Once we had agreed to do all that, we lifted the ban. The idea was always about preserving the reputation of the school, which we have spent a long time building up. There were just a half a dozen children involved to start with.'

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A letter was sent to parents explaining the school's actions last week.

The letter said: 'It is most unfortunate that a small minority of students wearing the uniform of the school and therefore representing the school chose to attempt theft of items from Sainsbury's supermarket.

'These students have tarnished the reputation of the school and its standing in the community and have brought the school into disrepute.'

A Norfolk police spokesman confirmed that it was investigating a theft at the Bacton Road supermarket on March 13.

Sainsbury's was unavailable for comment.