I seem to have done quite a bit of reminiscing about my childhood and schooldays since I started writing this blog some six months ago. It's not really a conscious attempt on my part at a 'theme', more that every so often something happens or catches my eye and gets me thinking back. Like this one, for instance.
Schools which still have the shirt, blazer and tie as obligatory uniform are probably in the minority nowadays, outnumbered I'd guess by polo necks and sweatshirts in the school colours. Although it's just like the uniform I wore (minus the cap, thank goodness!), and I daresay designed to serve much the same purpose, that hardly makes it "Dickensian". And the schoolmasters who taught me were properly attired in shirt and tie - and gown... that I don't suppose is still de rigeur nowadays.
I haven't worn a tie for many years, in fact I'm not at all sure I've still got one. But then I no longer need to: I don't have a job where one is required. There's a definite argument in my mind for saying that if pupils are required to dress smartly and correctly to the school's standards, then the staff are morally obliged to adhere to some similar sort of standard too. But the real crux of the matter is surely that if it's the stated 'custom of the house' to do something or not do something, then it isn't really incumbent on the individual to refuse merely on the grounds that he/she doesn't personally like it or agree with it.