Strange coincidence - on the same day that the new head of the V&A museum is mourning the decline of tie-wearing by the modern British male I went for an interview with a headteacher. In the nicest possible way he told me I could come back to do a couple of days in his school but only once I'd had a haircut and wore a suit. He wanted his staff to project a 'smart business-like image'.
I made a half-hearted attempted to tell him that in my previous life - 'in business' - nobody wore a suit and tie but I think his view of creative businesses probably stopped around the Mad Men era. Just to be clear I wasn't wearing my usual uniform of combats and t-shirts - I was actually in my 'smart mode' - wearing a shirt and tie, black canvas jeans and a corduroy jacket. My hipster version of a stereotypical wannabe teacher's garb - circa 1970's I suppose.
Anyway that kind of 'history man' nonsense apparently doesn't wash in the post-Thatcher academy-ised era. Stepford-like conformity is everything nowadays so that staff and kids look like Mormon missionaries or sales assistants in Currys - or young offenders preened for their first court appearance. Maybe it is teaching the kids valuable lessons in preparation for post-school life after all....
At the end of the day I want a job and to help me get it I want as much experience of what modern schools - for better or worse - are really like. So I'll grit my teeth, have a trim and dig out a suit - I just have to remember not to roll my sleeves up - a glimpse of my tattooed arms would probably send the head into apoplexy.