ECHO COMMENT: Smart Tewkesbury School pupils and charity shops in need
It hasn't always been the case that moving up to the sixth form meant dressing down on uniforms.
But in recent years, as pupils becomes “students” at increasingly younger ages, it seems to have become accepted that throwing away the uniform at the age of 16 was almost a mark of seniority.
So the decision of Tewkesbury School to introduce a new dress code for sixth formers is an interesting one.
For the boys, it’s collared shirts and smart trousers. For the girls, blouses are in but short skirts are most definitely out.
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You’d have thought the youngsters would be in rebellion. But judging by the picture on page 15 today and the comments we have gathered, the very opposite is the case.
The school has also had unsolicited calls from the public, praising them for how smart the teenagers look.
It’s the impression it creates that seems to have been the driving force behind the changes. But there’s another good reason for it as well. If sixth formers get used to dressing smartly on a daily basis, it will come as less of a shock when they enter the world of work.
Less impressive is the decision to get all the main school pupils to wear clip-on ties to avoid them having different knots and lengths of tie.
That’s a step too far in removing individuality. We can all remember some of the great efforts that our fellow pupils came up with.
And how does it prepare them for the world of work and even the sixth form? They won’t even be able to tie a knot.
The fall in donations to charity shops is both understandable and depressing.
If hard-up families need to sell their clothes and other items rather than give them away, then they should do so.
But perhaps there are some traditional givers that could think again. Is the pittance they get from selling on second-hand clothes really worth it?
Many will be regular donators to charity anyway and they could actually achieve more by giving their clothes direct to the shops.
Cancer Research UK’s Mary Ide says she feels they are letting down the scientists they have promised to support financially to help tackle the disease. That says it all.