Takeaway owners outraged as teacher 'bouncers' from nearby school ban pupils from visiting on way home

Bobby Sehdev of Monikas shop remonstrates with one of the teachers. (SWNS)
Bobby Sehdev of Monikas shop remonstrates with one of the teachers. (SWNS)

Outraged takeaway bosses near a school say they’re losing vital earnings - because teachers are patrolling the streets banning pupils from visiting.

Teachers from Cotham School in Bristol have reportedly started walking the streets and standing outside takeaways like “bouncers” in hi-vis jackets.

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One shop owner was forced to call the police, claiming teachers went inside and started giving out detentions to children and booting them out.

Children have been told they can't go into at least three convenience stores and a takeaway after home time between 2.45pm and 3.15pm.

A teacher (left) standing guard outside Chilli Bellies in Bristol. (SWNS)
A teacher (left) standing guard outside Chilli Bellies in Bristol. (SWNS)
Staff from Cotham School have started patrolling the streets. (SWNS)
Staff from Cotham School have started patrolling the streets. (SWNS)

Shopkeepers say their profits have plummeted with one claiming he's now forced to stay open seven days a week to make up for the shortfall.

The school denies staff have entered the shops but have admitted staff “supervise the parade of shops”.

The school’s leaders are adamant the reason for the ban and strict enforcement is for the safety and dispersal of the students.

Neil D'Souza, owner of takeaway Chilli Bellies, says he has seen a massive drop in business since staff from Cotham School started patrolling the streets.

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Police were even called by Mr D'Souza last week when staff allegedly blocked the entrance to his shop and stepped in to boot pupils out.

Mr D'Souza said: "They came in the shop and started telling off the children who were in there, handing out detentions, demanding that they leave.

"I’d taken the children's money, their food was almost ready. I said I’d had enough and asked this teacher to leave, to get out of my business, get off my property.

"He argued with me, and then went and stood right on the doorstep. He was physically blocking the entrance.

Neil D'Souza, owner of Chilli Bellies, says he is losing hundreds of pounds because of the policy. (SWNS)
Neil D'Souza, owner of Chilli Bellies, says he is losing hundreds of pounds because of the policy. (SWNS)

"They were intimidating the students, and this was intimidating to my normal customers too. He refused to move, that’s why I called the police."

Jabir Shar, the owner of a nearby newsagents Tuck News, also complained his business was being affected by the clampdown.

The shop owner says he is losing hundreds of pounds every day as a result of the school's rule.

He said: "They are misleading the children and parents. I have had parents come in and ask why their children are not allowed in here, they have been told we don't want them in.

"We are a business and would like to carry on serving them. This has been going on for more than 20 days and I'm losing hundreds of pounds a day.

"If this continues I'm not sure I'll be able to remain open. They have a teacher standing outside which makes our other customers suspicious about what's going on."

'Freedom to keep pupils in line': What Government legislation said

A spokesperson for Cotham School categorically denied any member of staff entered Chilli Bellies.

It says it is using powers given to schools by Michael Gove in 2011 which allows it to rule over over the conduct of pupils in certain circumstances outside the school gates.

The Education Act of that year included sweeping legislation aimed at giving teachers more power to discipline students.

Then Education Secretary Michael Gove made the sweeping reforms in 2011. (AP Photo/Jon Super).
Then Education Secretary Michael Gove made the sweeping reforms in 2011. (AP Photo/Jon Super).

In 2011, then Education Secretary Michael Gove said: “Heads are prevented from dealing with their pupils if they run wild in a shopping mall or behave anti-socially.

"We will change the rules to send one clear and consistent message. Heads will have the freedom they need to keep pupils in line, any time, any place, anywhere.

"Under the last government’s approach to discipline, heads and teachers lived in fear of breaking the rules while troublemaking students felt the law was on their side."

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