THE LATEST national guidance on school clothing had plenty of press coverage last week, particularly the parts allowing headteachers to ban veils and urging them to stop pupils wearing any kind of gang insignia.
However, one curious aspect of the guidance has been overlooked. The Department for Education and Skills actually wants children to have outlandish hairstyles - and not just because it advises schools to allow cornrows, a style adopted then swiftly abandoned by footballer David Beckham in 2003.
No, the guidance is more direct. It states: "Schools should not send a child home indefintiely (sic) or for longer than is strictly necessary to change clothes or modify appearance (eg by having a bad haircut)."
This suggest that schools should be sending pupils home so they can get bad haircuts, then return to classes quickly to be embarrassed in front of their classmates.
It is also disturbing that the DfES seems unable to spell "indefinitely", although it is only one of a recent rash of school-related misspellings.
Others include the DfES's "Natonal" Year of Reading. As the Daily Telegraph reputed this week, civil servants in the department are being given crash courses in punctuation and the use of basic words to avoid such howlers.