Pupils from one of the best secondary schools in Milton Keynes have been banned en masse from a neighbouring Waitrose store due to shoplifting and bad behaviour.
Waitrose bosses complained groups of Year 7 to 11 students from Oakgrove School were causing problems before and after school.
An altercation outside the shop last week proved the last straw and, after discussions with headteacher Ian Tett, the ban was introduced.
Now students in Oakgrove uniforms cannot enter the store at any time unless accompanied by an adult.
“It is important that students realise they are representing this school, even outside of school hours, when they are out and about in the community, and we simply will not tolerate such behaviour,” said Mr Tett.
“Most parents agree with the steps we have taken and we have received no negative feedback. “We have high standards at Oakgrove School. This behaviour is not something we tolerate.”
The offenders from last week’s altercation have been dealt with “severely”, said Mr Tett.
The ony exceptions to the ban are sixth formers, who are allowed out at break times to buy food and drinks from Waitrose.
“Their behaviour has always been impeccable,” said Mr Tett.
He said Year 7 to Year 11 students have never been allowed out during the day anyway, so they had no actual need to shop at Waitrose, which is only 400 metres away from the school.
A spokesman for the store said the ban had been agreed after discussions with the school and was only intended to be temporary.
“The kids were shoplifting. they were doing it nearly ever day. We consulted with the school and they agreed that all students should be banned for a while,” he said.
This week the store and the school are in negotiation to decide when the ban should be lifted,
Ookgrove school regularly tops the league tables in Milton Keynes and was deemed to be ‘outstanding’ in every aspect by Ofsted inspectors.
They stated: “Students are proud of their school and demonstrate outstandingly mature, polite behaviour both in lessons and around the school.”
Some 78 per cent of pupils achieve grades A to C in English and maths. This compares to a national average of 68 per cent.