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It’s not always easy getting a school uniform right. The ideal has to both smart and practical, stylish but not prohibitively expensive.

Don’t fall though for the old wives tale about pupils not wanting to wear one.

That’s a nonsense laid bare by the pupils of a Portsmouth school who have come up with their own new design.

Youngsters at Mayfield school certainly cut a dash in the more-traditional blazer and trouser combination that has replaced a polo shirt predecessor that pupils thought looked scruffy.

It is a step towards the more traditional school uniform, although thankfully not bedevilled by the pernickety punctiliousness of days when it seemed that conformity even to the particular designated shade of socks was apparently deemed more important than academic achievement itself.

Today’s Mayfield pupils are clearly young people who take pride in their appearance and in their school, and the staff have done well to engage them in coming up with the new design.

Those involved sum it up well. One, 15-year-old Jessica Going says: ‘Everyone here is proud of being a student at Mayfield, and hopefully now they’ll also be proud of their uniform.’

And Beth Richmond, aged 13, who created the distinctive M that has replaced the school’s full name on the uniform, adds: ‘If you are wearing a smart uniform you are more likely to live up to the high standards that the school is setting and carry yourself with a real sense of pride.’

And although it was not the primary motivation, clearly engaging textile students was, in these days of financial strictures, a more pragmatic approach than paying for exterior professional advice.

On the subject of cash, we would say that perhaps the one note of caution should be in the hike in costs, with the new uniform priced at £60 including optional extras, a jump of 50 per cent on the previous price.

But we are sure that parents will be happy to make the further investment in a new look that speaks volumes for the school.