A YEAR-group of students at Crediton’s Queen Elizabeth’s School has been stopped having access to Crediton High Street shops during lunchtimes.

A parent wrote to the Courier to make us aware of the newly-introduced change.

She said: “My daughter informs me that QE are stopping year 10s going down town at lunchtime and next year, year 11s too.

“If she has understood this correctly, many businesses depend on the school lunchtime trade.

“In particular the sandwich shop at the top of town, which only opens term time, but others will suffer, including Milkshake shop, fish and chip shops, Tesco Express and Oliver’s.

“The school us supposed to support the community! Not bankrupt it!”

Rupert Poole, principal, QE school, told the Courier: “It is the case that we have stopped allowing all year 10 students into the town at lunch time.

“Year 11 students and sixth form are allowed in and we have not made a final decision on next year’s (2016-17) year 11 students until we have seen how this first half term goes. There are no plans to change the arrangements for the sixth form.

“The reason for the change is we have a duty of care to our students, and we feel that we are better able to meet that duty by keeping the students on site during lunch times.

“In addition we have improved the catering facilities in school, and are therefore able to offer a better service to our students than in previous years.

“We also feel that it will help us to maintain the high standards of behaviour and work ethic that we expect from our students throughout the school day, given that lunch time is very short at only 45 minutes.

“However, it was not a decision that was taken lightly. Firstly, it must be said that throughout the time the students were entering town we had very few problems and our students’ good behaviour was often commented on.

“We received many notes of congratulations and thanks on that subject over the years.

“Also, I fully appreciate the importance that the large numbers of students and staff that enter Crediton to attend school each day have on the local economy.

“I did write (hand delivered) over the summer to all our neighbouring businesses explaining the decision and expressing my concern for any impact it may have on their cash flow.

“We are committed to working with the local community and businesses in every way we can and value the positive relationships we have.

“We have had to balance that desire for positive relationships with the responsibility we have to our students, their families and the continuing good progress of the school.”

• What do you think of the decision to stop Year 10 students from accessing Crediton High Street during lunchtimes?

If you have a view, why not share it with fellow Courier readers?

Send a letter, suitable for publication, to the Crediton Courier, 102 High Street, Crediton EX17 3LF or email: [email protected] .

Alan Quick