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Cred girls do wear plaid

Heads should be braced for a tartan army as this term's trends dictate checks, reports Julie Henry.

THE good news for schools with dress codes is that A-line skirts are in this autumn. The bad news is they have to be tartan.

The young fashion-conscious are already trawling the high street for creations that will knock them dead in the classroom.

The theme is the late 70s, so expect to find tanktops lurking under regulation wear. Belted coats, cords and checks in autumnal shades of brown, camel and burgundy are also likely to creep into the classroom.

Shirts with ties are much sought-after by the girls, as are bat-winged jumpers.

For the well-turned-out boy, the emphasis is on the clean-cut look but there are lots of patterns and stripes around. However, pupils may find it difficult to accommodate trendy, chunky knitwear under their blazers.

A new line in shoes is bound to confuse eagle-eyed headteachers who have a distaste for trainers.

The hybrid footwear, that looks like a shoe but has a trainer sole, sounds ideal for pupils who are part of the growing band of micro-scooter owners. As revealed in The TES last week, the grown-up version of the children's toy, which can ravel at 30mph and retails at about pound;100, is set to take the playground by storm.

Another childhood favourite that is undergoing a renaissance is the 1970s children's TV favourite Bagpuss.

Supermarkets have been flooded with merchandise featuring the cuddly Bagpuss, which has been produced following the recent screening of the programme on Channel 4 and cable TV turning the moulting moggie into a cult cat.

Furry Bagpuss backpacks, pencil cases and Filofax covers, which bear more resemblance to a Disney character than the saggy old cloth cat beloved of Emily, are set to be a big favourite with the girls.

Other pencil cases and lunch boxes to be seen with include Winnie the Pooh's mate Tigger, the Tweenies, Bob the Builder, and good old Barbie.

Pokeman is hanging on in there and anything with Chicken Run on it means instant street-cred.

For items which may cause major disruption if smuggled into class, watch out for Trillion Mania Bubbles, which blows 300 bubbles into the air in one breath, and the Zap It Liquitron, a paintball gun.

Luckily, the latest trend for Teflon-coated children's clothes will ensure that any damage done in a shoot-out is not irreparable.

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