Tommie Rose is the hot topic of conversation this week after having made a small fortune of £14,000 in the past few years by selling treats to his fellow students at Salford’s Buile Hill High School.
His business acumen was inspired after watching hit TV shows like Dragons’ Den and The Apprentice. An intelligent boy, he started buying sweet stock in bulk from discount stores and selling them in an undercover tuck shop at his school. Running a lucrative business, Tommie even employed two friends to help him, paying them £5.50 a day. Tommie states the money (up to £70 a day) goes into a trust, which will one day go towards paying his £9,000 a year tuition fees and his aspirations hope to take him to Oxbridge. Tommie’s parents said they would struggle to support their son through university on their own. It was later revealed he operated a similar regime at his previous school where he was repeatedly suspended and later expelled.
A number of important issues have been brought up in light of this story. Firstly, obesity in our country is on the rise, particularly amongst young people. Schools are doing what they can to improve healthy-eating guidelines in schools. Tommie’s actions were a clear breach of school policy, which must not be overlooked. It is completely acceptable for the school to have policies on health eating. However, rather than suspension should Tommy not have been encouraged to pursue his enterprise outside of school?
As much as the role of schools is to promote healthy eating, their educational role is to inspire children to thrive and succeed to the best of their ability and it seems in this instance, the school did not achieve a successful balance between the two.
This leads us to the way in which the school dealt with the situation. One could suggest that the school attempted to crush his entrepreneurial spirit, which is a disheartening and worrying attitude for a place of education to take. The school is right to promote a healthy eating, but it should absolutely not have dealt with the situation in the manner it did. Besides, won’t kids get their hands on chocolate or sweets in one way or another anyway?As much as the role of schools is to promote healthy eating, their educational role is to inspire children to thrive and succeed to the best of their ability and it seems in this instance, the school did not achieve a successful balance between the two.
Fortunately in the case of Tommie Rose, his suspension from Buile Hill High School has sparked public outcry. Dragons’ Den entrepreneurs Duncan Bannatyne and Deborah Meaden even took to Twitter to show their support for the 15 year old. Furthermore, only hours after the story hit media headlines, Tommie was offered an internship from recruitment firm Hiring-Hub.
Clearly the budding entrepreneur in Tommie Rose was not crushed in the case. However, schools should be urged to constantly endeavor to encourage entrepreneurial spirit in pupils going forward. Teaching business skills from an early age is only ever going to see positive effects.