Bristol

Bristol Cotham School takeaway row patrols end

Takeaway owner Neil D'Souza
Image caption Takeaway owner Neil D'Souza says the school's actions were losing him money

A takeaway owner says teachers who were stopping pupils buying his food "acted like bouncers".

Neil D'Souza says Cotham School told him they were taking the action for health reasons.

Since September school staff wearing high-vis vests have been ushering pupils away from local shops at the end of the school day.

The school says the patrols, which have now stopped, were to ensure pupils got home safely.

Image caption Cotham School says it will no longer block children from using local shops

Mr D'Souza, owner of Chilli Bellies, says that since September teachers had been blocking the entrance to his premises at the end of the school day to stop pupils coming in.

"Because they were wearing these vests and had walkie-talkies they looked quite intimidating, like bouncers," he said.

He added the patrols, which also affected other shops, were costing him between £60-£70 a day and claimed that when he asked the school for an explanation, headteacher Jo Butler told him it was because he sold "junk food".

Image caption Cotham School has been directing pupils away from local shops when school finishes

Announcing the patrols will now stop, a school statement said: "Cotham is a large school and over many years members of staff have assisted our students in their journey home by walking part of the route with them immediately after school.

"During this time we have received positive feedback from our parents, carers and Cotham residents.

"However our decision over the last few weeks to advise students that they should not use the shops located on the route between Cotham School and Nine Tree Hill between 2.45pm and 3.15pm, in order to further assist their safe passage home has been met with a mixed response.

"Having taken all of the views received into consideration we will still continue to support our students in remaining remaining safe as they leave school.

"However, we have decided that we will no longer provide a staff presence in the vicinity of the shops."

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