Belfast Telegraph

Headmaster's principles are food for thought

By Jane Graham

I feel a bit sorry for Sean Rafferty, the chastened headmaster of St Louis Grammar school in Ballymena who was allegedly spotted by a local garage owner 'running about the forecourt trying to keep children away' in an effort to stop his students buying sweets.

Rafferty's bizarre form of direct action, part of St Louis' Jamie-inspired healthy eating campaign, was overstepping the mark; his authority ends at the school gates. But he was coming from a good, well-intentioned place and his enthusiastic huffing and puffing suggests that the head - who has now, after consternation among local businesspeople and a minority of parents, agreed to stay away from the shops concerned - passionately cares about the children under his wing.

Yes, he sounds rather eccentric but faced with a choice between a head who's committed to doing what he thinks is best for pupils and one who barely knows what his pupils look like (and there are plenty of those), I know what I'd prefer.

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