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On the naughty step - conduct that deserves a ticking off

This week: Back to School shopping

This week: Back to School shopping

Praise be. The summer break is finally here. After three terms of solid hard work, you have at last been unshackled, and what better way to unwind than a leisurely trip to the shops.

But hold on just a moment. Put down that basket. Step away from the till. If you thought being bombarded with Christmas tinsel and toys from mid-August onwards was bad, wait until you see what our beloved retailers have in store for you this year: the premature launch of the Back to School range.

It would be wonderful if you were able to relax for just a few days before being told that you must prepare for the new academic year. Yet the nation's retail establishments are already queuing up to furnish you with more pencil cases, pleated skirts and felt-tip pens than you can shake a Hello Kitty lunch box at.

It's a bore for kids, who have to try on their itchy new uniforms. But for exhausted teachers, who are in desperate need of these precious weeks free from targets, grades and timetables, the incessant reminders that the new term will be here before they know it can even lead to nightmares.

So, we're sending those Back to School displays to the naughty step. Get back in your pencil case.

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