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Norfolk students mend fences at Sainsbury's store after previous ban

PUBLISHED: 15:02 23 March 2018 | UPDATED: 15:21 23 March 2018

North Walsham High School pupils at Sainsbury's. Picture: David Bale

North Walsham High School pupils at Sainsbury's. Picture: David Bale

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Twelve students have been mending fences at Sainsbury's after some of their colleagues let them down by shoplifting.

North Walsham High School joined the supermarket in imposing a ban on all pupils entering the store wearing school uniform last Friday.

It followed several incidents of shoplifting at the North Walsham store by pupils in uniform.

The ban was lifted earlier this week and youngsters were at Sainsbury’s on Friday, March 23 talking to customers and trying to improve their standing in the community.

Shoppers were even urged to see the school in action by paying them a return visit.

Deputy headteacher Farrah Ghafoor said: “The reputation of our school and the hundreds of children who go to it is paramount. Today you can see the calibre of students at the school. The actions we have taken are to ensure that these remarkable young people are never seen as anything but amazing.”

Head boy and head girl Nicholas Bishop and Megan Robson, both 16, were there to make an impression.

Nicholas said: “We’re here to make sure that people know it was only a small minority that caused the problems. You can find them in any town.

“And the feedback we’ve got at Sainsbury’s is that people agree with us, that it’s just about half a dozen kids that ruin it.”

Some of the youngsters were in school uniform and others in Sport Relief T-shirts holding a bucket collection.

Headteacher Neil Powell said when the ban was imposed that it was a short-term measure.

“The idea was always about preserving the reputation of the school, which we have spent a long time building up,” he said. “There were just a half a dozen children involved to start with.”

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

It 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.”

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