Well here I go in praise of the children's ingenuity and enterprise: the Sweet Barons.
The industry and creativity of the tycoons masquerading as pupils defies belief. School uniform dictates that bags shouldn't be worn indoors? Sleeves, pockets and socks are soon bulging with illicit goods. The school decides to go hard line on fizzy drinks for a week? The kids lie low and come the following Monday the pop of ring-pulls can be heard up and down the hallways.
It's not unlike the drug trade. Year 7s got in on the act about a month into their first year at the school. "Who's selling?" is the whispered question on everyone's lips. "Mason", "Abdi", "Ryan", "Connor" comes the reply. Selling of all kinds. Bargains, credit, discounts, profits, under-cutting, underselling, selling out.
The school tries to be a healthy school. The kids want their fix. There can only be one winner.
One boy is near enough illiterate. On top of an immigrant family background with no English at home, he has severe learning difficulties and four older brothers who failed school, of whom several are in prison. He has, over time, been withdrawn from most lessons to be taught alone upstairs in the learning support unit. Now aged 13, he comes into school for one reason, and one reason only. Over the week he makes 10-20 pounds selling everything from crisps to fizzy drinks to sweets. I'm assuming that if his literacy ain't up to much, his mental maths is okay.