Alex starts school

From April 2001 to August 2006:

Alex at 1 day old Alex at school

Note the school uniform. Just for the record, I disapprove of them. Yes, they make children look cute, but cute in the Yorkshire-Terrier-in-a-paisley-waistcoat sense, i.e. just not right.

Britain has an obsession with uniforms, from kids at school to adults in business. I used to think there was a shadowy conspiracy of tailors who manipulated politicans and lobbied industry to maintain suit and tie as the standard dress code. How else to explain the fact most large institutions still require even their computer geeks, who rarely get to see daylight, let alone a customer, to still wear “business dress”?

Now, though, I’m coming round to the point of view that wearing a school uniform during your formative years somehow warps your mind. You may start to feel uncomfortable when you’re out of uniform, so you join a company where everyone wears suits. Or more insidiously, you may start buying into the myth that wearing school uniform promotes a sense of common identity, and puts both rich and poor on a level playing field. And you decide to take that idea forward into the workplace.

To this I say, “thpppt.” When was the last time you were around a set of school kids? If you really think that wearing a uniform is going to stop them from forming cliques and ganging up on others, you need to get your doctor to adjust your medication. Likewise, if you think that wearing a jacket and tie in the workplace presents a more professional face to your customers, you need to hire some better-informed consultants. Providing a good service is what makes your customers happy.

Anyway, that’s my rant. Here are some more photos of Alex dressed up as a junior bank clerk.

Alex in a tie Alex being a goof

Update: If you’re looking for the actual details of Alex’s first day at school Abi has them over here.

3 Replies to “Alex starts school”

  1. Well, he’s mighty cute despite the dorky outfit. Get rid of the soon-to-be-covered-in-jam necktie, and I could live with the UK uniforms. Call me crazy.

    Here in California, I see an awful lot of school kids in attire that announces their brainwashing by an unrelenting consumer culture. One little girl in Tom’s kindergarten, whom I grew quite fond of, often came to school wearing a pink t-shirt with a silver Playboy bunny decorating the front of it. I wanted to rescue her every time I saw it.

    And, please, someone incinerate all those t-shirts with “sassy” sayings on them, such as “spoiled rotten” or “here comes trouble.” “Trouble” is not quite the term this t-shirt brings to mind.

    I often find myself contemplating whether uniforms might not be a bad idea, as long as they were kid-friendly (you know, pants–oops, I mean trousers– and a plain t-shirt). It would give them 5 or 6 hours per day when they are not using their bodies as billboards and assaulting each other with “buy buy buy” messages in their attempts to be liked and accepted. They may well not appreciate the respite, but I know I would.


  2. I can’t believe you hijacked the entire post with a rant! Actual facts of the day can be found here.

    And Sarah? The ties are machine washable, the trousers are protected with Teflon, and the shirts are no iron. Modern technology is wonderful.

  3. Supplementary note: I reserve special scorn for parents who put their kids to school in shorts and long-sleeved shirt and tie. You’re bad, bad people.

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