I have studied at my college for 7 years now and I am in my last year of sixth form. Right now many kids are suffering from the after effects of the recession and lifestyles are becoming more expensive with the poorer kids suffering the worst. During the years I have witnessed students who are in financial difficulty unable to get free school meals because the school is unable to provide some students with free school meals. I have witnessed children selling their free school meals in order to make a profit so they are able to eat more unhealthy food after school. Isn’t this a cause for concern?
My idea is to have a selling stall in school. A stall inside a school is a shelter away from bullies. With a stall the children can be being protected and supervised by teachers who can keep them safe. Kids see money especially as a sign of wealth, which kids are very insecure about as you know kids are bullied on how much money they have in their pocket or the clothes they wear. Children of the age 13-14 would be given the necessary funds to go and buy stock to sell in school. This would create a business incentive and a give the students something positive to look forward to. They could receive a cut of the profit made which can help their families with financially and with the cost of essentials such as food and books for their education.
I acknowledge the fact that many teachers are against selling as many arguments and fights could be caused by selling. A stall will prevent arguments where the students can get food cheaper and they have no reason to complain when food is being sold at a cheaper price. But I witnessed myself that there have been many disagreements between students who have bought something of another student in school where they are left feeling robbed. Selling in school has resorted to the underground as most students have to hide away from teachers as their stock would get confiscated. The reasons for this are because school prices are milking the money out the kids as well as the parent’s pockets.
I have asked a couple of students about the prices of the canteen food at school. A meal at lunchtime is £2.40 for the main course alone. This price too many kids are expensive when they could go out and buy 3 wings and chips for £1.00 which is another favourite as Tooting is an area surrounded by fast food outlets. Another favourite for kids outside of school is colloquially known as “The patty shop” where you can buy a patty for £1.25 optional with cocoa bread which in all is £2.20. Why would a child buy food in school when in their eyes they can get this which tastes better and fills them up more?
Furthermore the selling stalls will require supervision by adults which is critical as kids make mistakes and can go astray. An adult can look over the stall with the kids accompanying them whilst making sales. The kids should be trusted to buy stock for the stall to sell which gives the kid a sense of responsibility making them feel needed and wanted which I know many kids don’t feel. The stall can help to keep kids out of trouble as many kids have no motive or direction seeking out trouble. But the stalls can be a turnaround for many troublesome students who feel they can finally show some of the talent they have which in turn will be a positive domino effect. It can create aspirations for the children who don’t have a clue about what they want to do in the future.
For example Kitat’s from Sainsbury’s in a multi pack with 5 chunky bars are £2 .00. Where as a kid who can sell this for 50p each would be able to buy it from the school rather than going to one of the corner shops and buying the same Kitat chunky for 59p. 9p may not sound like a lot, but to kids it’s a significant difference. Soft drinks such as the following: Pepsi, Fanta, Sprite and Coke are ranging around 59p to 65p which is a lot of money. If a kid was to buy stock from Asda they could get a 6 pack of each drink for £3.50 which could be sold at 50p each. If a kid was to buy these drinks individually they would pay £3.90 if each drink cost 65p. We know kids buy in variety so this statistic would vary on the kid’s tastes.
In conclusion I know the concept of selling stalls in school may come under some serious scrutiny, but however I have a great belief that this idea has great potential and it will profit the school and the students in a great way. I believe the introduction of selling stalls will help generate a cohesive school community where kids can satisfy their own needs as well as the other students.