I am currently on holiday in France – a proper holiday, with sun (ish) and sand and no mother in law – so I have been a bit worried that I wouldn’t be able to find something educational to wow (hmm!) you all with in my blog. I only have dial up connection here (it is rather rural and extremely lovely in these parts) so the internet is of no use. The newspapers come a couple of days late and – horror of horrors – the only newspaper we can get is the Torygraph (and I haven’t had that inflicted on me since I left home twenty years ago). However, when I opened Saturday’s paper, it was “Education, Education, Education”. Oh no, that was the other guy – but, you know what I mean, there were lots of articles about the poor state of education these days.

My interest was most sparked by the furore over Marks and Spencer’s new Blazer for iPod. Apparently, the NASUWT is upset that this jacket will encourage children to break school rules and to listen to music in class. Frankly, this blazer is a ridiculous marketing ploy to part parents from their well earned money. I certainly wouldn’t buy it (but then, I wouldn’t buy a ten year old an iPod, but that’s another story). However, I don’t think that the NASUWT need worry too much for the following reasons;

1)    The said blazer costs about 30 pounds. If you go to Tesco, or any number of other stores, you can get most school uniform items for 50p or less. 2)    If lessons are interesting enough, children won’t want to listen to their iPods in class whether they are hidden in their lapels or not. 3)    The blazer is marketed to parents as eco-friendly (the fabric is made out of recycled plastic bottles). Sadly, only about 2% of our nation gives a damn about the environment. 4)    The blazer is marketed to teenagers as perfect “for music on the move”. We all know that teenagers don’t move before 2pm. 5)    99% of state schools don’t have blazers as part of their uniform. Of the remaining one percent, only 30% of the pupils actually bother to wear one. Only one in three of this 30% shop in M&S. I make that three children nationwide.

6)    Of those three children, probably only two will be interested in music. One of these two will be too scared to break the rules.

So, all the teachers need to do is to crack down on the one culprit and make an example of him/her.

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