A store in the English city of Bath is under attack for its remarkable access policy. School students from the nearby (public) Ralph Allen School are allowed to enter the shop at most. However, the rule does not apply to students of the also nearby Prior Park College, a private school where a school year costs 32,000 pounds (36,000 euros).

Private ‘independent schools’ (also somewhat misleading ‘public schools’) in the UK are quite normal. Due to the sky-high costs, the ‘independent schools’ are reserved for children from richer families. Children from lower social classes follow lessons at schools associated with subsidized state education, leading to much larger classes, dilapidated buildings and often less motivated teachers. It is no wonder that many more students from the very expensive private education move on to higher education, compared with students from the state schools. School uniforms are mandatory for both school systems.

Anyone who enters the neighbourhood store, a branch of the Co-op chain, will hit a placard that clearly states that pupils of Ralph Allen are allowed to enter at most per two. Parents reacted displeased. The store manager only wanted to say that he took the measure “for the right reasons”. When the message was spread through the social media like a running fire, the shop manager made ‘students’ without referring to the state school. The most recent inspection reports give the Ralph Allen School a good score, according to the British newspaper ‘The Independent’.

The newspaper also contacted a Co-op spokesperson. “It was never our intention to come across as offensive. It is a very small store where the decision was made to better manage the number of pupils from each school at peak times in the store. Our sincere apologies,” according to the spokesman.


Source: The Independent

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