Monday, 8 July 2013

Just a Suggestion ...

Today the temperature reached about 26 degrees in Wakefield and it was hot, uncomfortably so at times. The temperature isn't predicted to drop much lower for the rest of this week and might even reach the giddy heats of 29 degrees. After what has seemed like more than our fair share of winter, a barely sprung spring and many, many dull overcast days, I SHOULD be celebrating the sunshine.

And I would be celebrating it if I didn't feel like Torquemada as I wave The Tween off to The Academy at 7.30 in the morning, just as the heat starts to crack the cobbles* Because The Academy in their wisdom have a strict uniform policy, so strict that on the very hottest days it DOES amount to torture.

First day at The Academy
The Academy's uniform policy requires all the girls to wear 40 denier black opaque tights, a buttoned-up-to-the-collar white blouse complete with clip-on (for health and safety reasons *rolls eyes*) tie and a blazer, polyester and black. There is the excitement of choice in wearing either a pencil or pleated skirt, polyester and black, or trousers, also polyester and black. Shoes should be flat and, you guessed it, black. There's just one concession in warmer weather and that's the option to leave off the jumper. Also black.

So today my 11-year-old daughter left for school, a 30 minute walk away, dressed almost entirely in black man-made fibres carrying two heavy bags of books and PE kit because The Academy, where "children come first," don't think those children can be trusted to have lockers.

They don't trust them to turn up in the uniform either, and a couple of teachers stand at the gates checking each pupil over as they arrive with an increasing scale of alphabetically-numerically listed punishments unfolding like a motorway network in front of transgressors so even the possibility of turning up be-sandeled and de-blazered and hoping no-one notices is instantly thwarted.

And this is wrong. This is all kinds of wrong. This is the wrongest wrong that has ever been wronged since the first ever wrong. It. Is. Wrong.

At no point has anyone ever proved that the wearing of a uniform improves anything other than the sales figures of uniform manufacturers. And no one has ever done a study on whether par-boiling pupils increases the exam pass rate, but soon enough there'll be an investigation into the increasing incidence of Thrush among schoolgirls every summer. 

Forty. Denier. Tights. That's all I'm saying.

Would it be so subversive, an erosion of The Academy's educational aspirations to ...oh.. I don't know ... introduce A SUMMER UNIFORM? 

Wearing weather-appropriate clothing? A radical thought I know but one that has been trailed extensively and for-fucking-ever by anybody with any common sense at all. And as it would also mean the official uniform supplier selling even more official uniform at inflated prices I'm surprised The Academy hasn't thought of it already. 


*We don't really have cobbles even though it is Yorkshire. The council sold them off years ago. *Tuts*


  1. It is very wrong. I expect the teachers standing at the gate have adapted their outfits to the weather. And still manage to do the important job of handing out punishment to people with the wrong denier tights.

  2. That's not right at all. My son has to wear a tie to school and he's 8 years old. It's got to be a bit like wearing a scarf in the middle of summer!


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