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Friday, 20 July, 2001, 14:39 GMT 15:39 UK
Pupils told how knot to behave
school tie
Behaviour has improved by enforcing the tie rule
Pupils at a troubled school have improved their behaviour after a clampdown on how to knot their ties.

New head teacher Paul Edwards demanded that children ignore the current trend of sporting their ties in a short, fat style.

Instead he insisted that the neckwear must stretch down to the pupils' waists.

Since the crackdown on uniform code, the John Smeaton Community High School, Leeds, has seen a fall in levels of vandalism and bullying.

Britney Spears
Britney Spears: Appears in a video without a tie
Judith Russell, senior deputy head teacher, said: "We have told every year group the importance of the uniform and have told everyone to wear their ties properly.

"Some of the pupils had been wearing them very short and others were not wearing them at all.

"We also stopped pupils from wearing training shoes and insisted they wear proper shoes.

"The important thing is that pupils feel proud of their uniform.

"It has also helped restore the confidence of the staff because of this 'zero tolerance' over uniform."

'Serious weaknesses'

The school, which Ofsted inspectors described as having "serious weaknesses" in 1999, has 1,600 pupils aged 11-18.

They must wear a navy sweatshirt, white shirt and the school tie, which is dark blue with light blue and green stripes.

Acting head teacher Paul Edwards, is also in charge at Garforth Community School, Leeds.

Former headmaster Richard Allen quit the school four weeks ago.

The school had got out of control and I told them that this is how we are going to go forward

Acting head teacher Paul Edwards
Mr Edwards said: "I chose the tie as something symbolic, it was setting a standard for the future.

"The school had got out of control and I told them that this is how we are going to go forward."

He took on children who refused to wear their ties properly.

Some may have been copying the style of pop stars such as Britney Spears who appeared in one of her videos without a school tie.

Parents have been warned that children faced being sent home if they are not properly dressed.

About 60 pupils were excluded at first but returned in the correct attire.

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See also:

11 Jan 01 | Education
School uniforms 'too expensive'
02 Jul 00 | UK Politics
Hague backs school uniform
10 May 00 | Education
Uniform rule for pupils
01 Aug 98 | Education
End of the old school tie?
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