God, The Queen, School Uniform, Pounds Shillings and Pence, Janet and John ...
People like Matthew Tate, headteacher of Hartsdown Academy Margate and in the news today for zero tolerance of young people, can only imagine the future as a tribute act to the past. It's what you might call the English Disease and Margate is the sort of place where it easily becomes endemic.
It's a disease which is sending us over the tipping point into irreversible national decline. We should pay high salaries to those who can enthrall children and young people with Shakespeare or show them how fascinating it is to work out why the square on the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares on the other two sides. Or teach them Chinese. But we shouldn't be paying people like Mr Tate at all. He's in the wrong job and doing a lot of damage.
If you need something to cheer you up, a while ago I found some scenes of young people doing impressive things despite wearing tee shirts and trainers. They attend the Cusanus Gymnasium in Erkelenz, Germany - a country where history has taught them to be suspicious of men keen on uniforms. All these secondary school students speak English - the teachers have time to teach English because they aren't spending their time policing ties and skirt lengths or whatever is the latest fantasy of Mr Tate.
To see what you can do wearing tee shirts and trainers, just go to YouTube and enter the school's name and small-town location and enjoy.