Richard Garner: Return of blazers and ties is a neat way for schools to smarten up their act

You might have guessed it would be a Conservative Education Secretary that thought up the idea of calling for a return to the era of the old school tie in schools. But it might not be the patrician move that you think it to be.

School uniform can instill a sense of togetherness in pupils. It also stops the rich kids from wearing designer clothes that their parents can afford while disadvantaged youngsters are shown to be wearing more modest clothing. Of course, schools should make sure they opt for a reasonably cheap but smart uniform.

As to the idea of prefect and house systems, again there are good reasons for adopting them. Prefects can learn important responsibility about leadership skills and the house system is one way of getting different age groups mixing together so the younger pupils are not so much in awe of the senior pupils.

Of course, Mr Gove cannot insist upon schools following his exhortations. That doesn't mean, though, that they should be dismissed out of hand.

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