The question of school uniform seems to arouse surprisingly strong emotions in people - from the slightly dotty " experts" who believe that wearing a uniform denies children the right "to express their personalities," to the believers in the expression of a strong corporate ethic, best shown by the wearing of a uniform.
My own first experience of school uniform came in 1950 when, at the age of ten, I started at a grammar school, whose uniform could only be bought at the expensive outfitters in Corporation Street, The Don.
Being poor, I had to rely on my gran getting me a uniform with her "club cheque," and so for years I went to school wearing the wrong uniform.
Instead of a pinafore dress, I wore the box-pleated gymslips made famous by the St Trinian's girls, and a vaguely acceptable tie, bought for a few pennies in a second-hand clothes shop.
Once, I was even sent to school in a green blazer, when everybody else wore navy blue.
In those days, I must say that my desire to express my personality through my dress was very undeveloped, for I longed to conform. I wanted to look like everybody else and merge into the background.
When my own children were young, in the 1970s, primary schools didn't generally have a compulsory school uniform and my son went through school clad in short trousers, a vest and a jumper.
Indeed, he never wore a tie or a shirt with a collar until he started at secondary school. Clothes just weren't important - as long as they were clean and appropriate to the season, they would do.
At work uniform was equally not a concern for me. I taught for more than 30 years in a technical college, where the students were all over 16 and could wear what they liked.
I was once instructed in the 1960s to tell my girl students that they couldn't come to college dressed in trousers (an instruction I ignored), but, generally speaking, students wore what they wanted and looked fairly unremarkable.
Apart from the odd eccentric hairstyle or my one punk student who clanked down the corridor to lessons, his chains jangling, and sat far away from the other students, for fear of stabbing them with the lethal blond spikes of his hair, dress was sober and unremarkable.
With this background, why am I, then, such a fierce advocate of uniforms for children in schools?
The answer is that I object strongly to the million-dollar marketing of "teenage fashion" taking over in our schools as well as in our high streets.
I don't want the sleazy and exploitative society that leads so many of our youngsters to class shopping as their favourite pastime, to alter the ethos of learning in schools into a mindless obsession with fashion.
Nor do I want the premature sexualisation of our children to parade itself in our schools.
We are already reduced to primary school children demanding designer trainers and refusing to wear something that isn't "cool," and we have young children encouraged by teachers to go to school dressed in skimpy outfits or dressed as a favourite pop star, watched proudly by simpering mothers.
We now have uniforms where we see young girls wearing skirts as short as a pelmet, which scarcely show beneath their blazers.
As adults, we ought to be fighting the tyranny of the fashion industry and insist upon our children going to school decently clad, so that they spend at lest some of their formative years in an environment that encourages them to think about something more than just how they look.
Let's get back to children looking like children, not adults gone off the rails.