THE Welsh Government guidance came in.

I read the first line and a cold sweat trickled down my back - the worst possible situation was unfolding: ‘We advise teachers to not wear suits, instead dress in clothes that can be cleaned every day to reduce the risk of covid.’

What was I going to wear?!

There is a reassuring certainty in being a head teacher - every day you get to put on a suit, and you can’t go that wrong with a suit.


Barry Whitmore High School makes and supplies coronavirus PPE to hospitals and care homes

Extensive redevelopment of Whitmore High School in Barry is set to begin

New school uniforms revealed for Whitmore High and Pencoedtre High School in Barry

There was a day last year where I realised my tie didn’t really go with my shirt, but I got over it.

But this, this was something else entirely.

I frantically rushed to my wardrobe (two small drawers next to the cavernous cave that stores my wife’s clothes), and confirmed what I already knew, I had nothing suitable.

Onto the internet I went and bought myself some outfits.

I was pleased with my purchases and excitedly showed my wife.

With the cutting honesty only reserved for your life partner she simply said: "Innes, you’re not 19 anymore."

I was crushed.

Why do I tell you this story?

I think it proves how important school uniform is although I can think of a number of pupils who will passionately disagree with me.

The first question school parliament always asks is: "Why can’t we wear our own clothes?"

Petitions are often written up asking for own clothes days and within minutes of signing up for a school trip, the all-important question is asked: "Do we have to wear school uniform?"

In these one-off situations I can see the fun in getting to wear your own clothes.

But not every day.

You get up, brush your teeth and without even thinking put on your uniform.

When you are 14, the last thing you need to worry about is for school to become a fashion show.

The school uniform is the great leveller that allows pupils to focus on the most important thing about school: learning.

So, what am I going to wear?

Chinos and a shirt; the quintessential dress down outfit of a head teacher.

Picked of course by my wife.