As somebody who is permanently dishevelled I don’t have much room to talk about the appearance of others. But as it’s September, it’s only fair I join in.
It’s the time a nation spends a week tutting while reading newspapers and watching TV news and learning how a 14-year-old called Tyson has been put in detention because he has bulldogs shaved into his scalp, while young Aurora has been sent home because the head hates her nose ring.
In the past week I’ve heard of kids receiving sanctions for wearing the wrong trousers, girls turned away because their skirts are too short and the little chap in hot water because his dad spent his school shoe money on trainers.
These stories appeal to the snob in us. How many of us have sided with the mum who sent her teen to double maths with a pink Mohican? I suspect not one of us because, for the majority of parents, the issue of school uniform is straightforward: rules are rules. If the head sends a note saying Doc Martens and eyeliner are banned it’s simple, our children don’t wear them.
But there’s a vein of stupidity in this country which compels people to think they can make their own rules and dress their children in a get-up more befitting an X Factor audition than Friday assembly.
There are daft people who think they have a right to do as they please.
Thanks to Wi-fi there can be no confusion about any school’s uniform policy because it’s online. Which is why I found myself in my local superstore at 11pm.
On the eve of the new term I was reminded not one of my eight-year-old’s 20 hairbands was of the required standard so off I went.
I only had myself to blame. We’d had six weeks to get our house in order. While it’s true schools don’t always get it right they do have an important job.
Teaching the next generation is difficult enough, so is it too much to ask us to do our bit and send our children to school in the correct uniform?