Manchester

Schoolboy trader given suspension for selling chocolate

A young entrepreneur has been suspended from his healthy eating school for repeatedly selling sweets there.

Tommie Rose, 12, said he made up to £200 a day selling chocolate and fizzy drinks to fellow pupils at Salford's Oasis Academy.

He was warned he was breaking a healthy eating policy, but continued to trade.

Following his week's suspension, the schoolboy said he would give the rest of his stock to the army "to bring to the homeless".

He said that he got the idea from the BBC series The Apprentice, particularly the episode "where they buy stuff from shops and sell them".

Tommie said he bought the sweets and drinks in bulk from discount stores and then sold them on for a marked-up price.

"I've got a good business brain and it gave me the idea what to do," he said.

"I saw stuff was going for cheap, so I bought about £30 worth and then dotted it around mates' houses.

"I would sell them in the playground - some days I would make up to £200."

Tommie's father Gary Rose said he had no idea his son was selling the snacks initially and that the scale of his enterprise had been surprising.

"He'd go out the house in the morning [with] nothing in the bag, then we'd get a phone call later in the day to say he'd been selling again," he said.

"We were flabbergasted when we found out how much he was doing and we just wondered how we'd let it go on under our noses.

"But it just goes to show how crafty the youth of today are."

Mr Rose said Tommie had been disciplined by being grounded and had had his phone and computer confiscated.

However, he said he thought the school suspension had been excessive.

"I just feel school could have looked to an alternative punishment," Mr Rose said.

"It's a really harsh punishment that doesn't fit the crime."

A spokesman for Oasis Academy said that parents "fully support our policy and would be disappointed to find their child's money being spent on the large amounts of chocolate repeatedly being brought onto the premises".

He added: "Whilst we understand the motivation for a bit of entrepreneurialism, we would rather work alongside all students and channel that motivation into an activity that doesn't break the academy rules.

"Activities which undermine our healthy eating policy cannot be tolerated."

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