IAN HART: From lives to shoes in four days... only in Britain

Obviously by its very nature the ITV breakfast news editor's job is intense, deciding each day what the lead story needs to be as the nation wakes up.

Sunday, 18th September 2016, 3:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 2:01 pm
Ian Hart

At the beginning of last week the focus was on the protests by activists on the major airport runways as part of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ campaign.

But by the time Wednesday arrived, this very emotive issue had been replaced in the news bulletins by the ‘drama’ at the Hartsdown Academy in Margate when incoming new headteacher Matthew Tate refused nearly 50 pupils entry to the school over incorrect school uniform.

What followed for the next 48 hours or so encapsulated much of what is wrong in our country today.

From the outset, Mr Tate played by the book. Every child at the school, including this year’s new intake, received a letter in July outlining the new policy and guidelines over school uniform.

Therefore, every pupil and their parents had several weeks’ notice as to what was acceptable come September.

Almost 50 pupils on the first day were seen to have not adhered to the rules, and Mr Tate rightly denied them access to the campus. But with that came the inevitable media frenzy.

On day two there were still nearly 30 children not in line with the school rules, but with that came the obligatory ‘wronged’ parent getting their 15 minutes of fame on TV. It’s not A-level chemistry, let alone rocket science – it was list of what you could and couldn’t wear to school. What’s so difficult? Certain parents felt the need to make a stand or rather was it pandering to a growing generation of youngsters who feel it’s the norm to do what they like?

They won’t, because it’s ‘old news’ but I’d be interested to see ITV return to Margate in a month’s time and see if the militant parents and pupils have seen sense? Education of our youngsters is not only a cornerstone of our society but the firm foundations of the child’s passage to adulthood, why would any parent want to scupper this process?


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