Dress to learn

5th September 1997 at 01:00
The dress sense of North Lanarkshire councillors was on display as they debated a proposed standard dress code for pupils. Jim Logue said that despite the move towards uniform, pupils would be able to, er, suit themselves. It was a case of the emperor's new clothes.

In his area girls could wear trousers at one secondary school but not the other. "Either we have got a dress code policy or we don't," Logue said.

But other councillors admired the cut of the cloth in director of education Michael O'Neill's drapery. "While the traditional blazer, school skirt and tie may be included, consideration should be given to a range of clothing in school colours and insignias including such items as sweatshirts, polo shirts, T-shirts and scarves."

But what of Armani and Versace and even Nike? Plain-speaking convener Charles Gray had no doubts: "If we are going to pay a school clothing voucher we should see that it's spent on a school uniform rather than some designer gear. "

Gray said headteachers would not be allowed to impose their own preferences. "I think you will find that headteachers won't be quite as insistent as in the past."

Drew Morrice, a teachers' representative, approved the code on the ground that it "doesn't seek to impose a strait-jacket".

No, but that's a thought for when the going gets tough.

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