Blaise Tapp: Breaking uniform rules is a lame rebellion

School uniforms regularly provoke debate.

School uniforms regularly provoke debate.

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Now that the lingering smell of sun lotion has finally left our nostrils, we can get on with the business of being miserable due to summer being over.

The first signs of autumn are already here: the tedious X Factor and Strictly have invaded our screens, Theresa May has swept back into the country sporting a sharp new haircut and, for some feeble minded souls, the countdown to Christmas has begun.

But the true gauge of whether or not we are in the final furlong in the race towards the end of the year is not any of the above or changing face of the countryside but the fact that school uniform are once again in the news.

Perhaps the most liberating aspect of a six week break away from the classroom is that our young can wear what they like rather than being forced to don polyester shirts and scratchy trousers that go shiny after six washes.

Over the years that uniforms have been compulsory, rebellious youngsters have sought to snazz up their blazers or jumpers, meeting resistance from the powers-that-be every time. So it came as no surprise to learn about the brouhaha at one school after a headteacher refused to admit some 50 students because they weren’t wearing the correct attire, despite warnings that he would take such action.

Some parents were so incensed that their little darlings weren’t allowed to take part in double maths while being dressed like Little Mix that they staged a protest at the school, prompting a visit from the police. The defiant head stood his ground and only let the offenders through the gates once they had ditched the skinny jeans, tracksuit bottoms and the kind of skirts usually only worn on nightclub dancefloors.

His actions reignited a debate which rears its head every year with many jumping to his defence, arguing that the failure to wear the correct uniform is a hallmark of an unruly pupil. As somebody who was born scruffy, I have some degree of sympathy for those who never quite look the part, no matter how hard they try. But these young rebels, like so many before them, are pushing their luck and deserve any sanctions they receive because, let’s face it, not wearing the correct school uniform is a pretty lame form of rebellion.

In an age when self-expression is encouraged more than ever before, many people, regardless of their age, believe that pleasing oneself is perfectly fine regardless of the circumstances. I have lost count of the number of times when I have had to inform aspiring young scribes on work placements that open collars and turned up jeans are not really the best way to impress a potential future employer.

It is a lesson in life that sometimes you just have to do what you are told and one just has to accept that tramline haircuts, gold ear studs on five-year-olds and trainers are not suitable for the classroom.

YP Comment: Take civic duty more seriously