Tied in knots by elf 'n' safety: Schoolboy, 13, excluded for wearing traditional version instead of a clip-on
Teenager Max Richmond says children need to learn how to wear one
Headteacher says clip on ties supports health and safety of youngsters
HSE said it was a 'myth' that health and safety bans traditional school ties
09:24 GMT, 14 February 2013
10:50 GMT, 14 February 2013
Max Richmond was put into isolation for a day after he refused to wear a clip on tie
Most children have been scolded by a teacher for their scruffy uniform and told to straighten their tie.
But one schoolboy has been punished for refusing to wear a clip-on tie because he wants to wear a smarter traditional one – which breaches 'health and safety rules'.
Max Richmond, 13, was put into isolation for a day, for wearing the proper tie at Colne Community School in Brightlingsea, Essex.
The 1,438-pupil school insists pupils wear clip-on ties for health and safety reasons – but Max says the clip-on ones are uncomfortable and childish.
He prefers to wear a traditional tie of exactly the same design, given to him by a neighbour.
He was given work to complete on his own in a small cubicle for continuing to wear the tie.
Max, of Waterside, Brightlingsea, said: 'It seems bizarre and unnecessary especially over something like the tie I was wearing.
'I like wearing a real tie because it feels proper.
'People have worn them for generations, and if you are not wearing one during secondary school then you are never going to learn the necessary skills for when you go into the world of work.
'When you are wearing a clip-on tie it is hard to be taken seriously, especially when you go to competitions against other schools – it feels foolish, and childish.'
On their website in 2009, the Health and Safety Executive said it was a 'myth' that health and safety bans traditional school ties.
The school has agreed to review the policy.
Max says the clip-on ones are uncomfortable and childish. He prefers to wear a traditional tie of exactly the same design
Nardeep Sharma, headteacher, said the
rule was introduced about three years ago to support the health and
safety of young people
He said: 'This was in line with the practice in most secondary schools nationally.
'The policy can only be changed by governors and a parent has requested the governors review this policy, which the school has agreed to do.'
Max said he welcomed the review and hoped the governors would take his points on board.
Roger Bibbings, occupational safety adviser for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, said schools can make pupils wear clip-on ties, but should not cite health and safety grounds.
He said: .It might be a sensible precaution if a school insists on pupils wearing ties while handling rotating machinery, such as in a school workshop, but for any other reason you cannot say this policy was required under health and safety law.'
The school said the rule was introduced about three years ago to support the health and safety of young people
The Health and Safety Executive's website says: 'Quite rightly, few parents would see wearing school ties as a safety issue.
'After all, millions of kids have been wearing ties for years without any real problems.
'Taking simple precautions during laboratory work or around machinery makes sense. But if the concern is about kids fighting, although clip-on ties may help, the real issue is discipline.
'So no, we don't ban school ties – it's down to the school to make decisions about uniform, not HSE.'
A spokesman for the Health and Safety Executive added: 'It seems to us to be a disproportionate response.'
Linda Painter, of the Schoolwear Association, said that producers had reported a 'strong trend' in school opting for clip on ties, largely because every tie looks uniform and neat, but also because it means that the ties do not get wrapped around students' necks.
She said: 'Lots of school do have clip on ties, it's a strong trend. It's not definitively about health and safety.
'Obviously they can come off quite easily and don't get stuck round children's necks, but clip-ons do mean that all the students' ties look the same and look smart.'