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Pupils’ sparkly pens are getting write on my nerves

Jo Brighouse’s school’s policy of allowing children to bring in their own pens and pencils to cut costs quickly resulted in a widespread addiction to natty stationery

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If I ever decide to give up teaching and go and seek my fame and fortune in the outside world, I think I could do worse than going into the stationery business.

Within the world of key stage 2, stationery is a powerful currency. In my classroom, the right pencil case can confer instant status, as well as a tremendous sense of wellbeing.

I get the attraction, I really do. I’m as partial to a shiny new set of colouring pencils as the next person, and the annual end-of-August trip to WH Smith was a highlight of my own school days.

Our school line on bringing in your own stationery was clear. In ...

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