Hesketh Fletcher Gym Team

Childhood - Schools


Year: 1935         Item #: 1741         Views: 173,687         Comments: 865

Hesketh Fletcher Gym Team

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Hesketh Fletcher Gym Team of Atherton, Greater Manchester.
Source: G. Smith.

865 user comment(s) below:-

Comments by Fiona on 8th April 2020  

Josh H, interesting comment that you slept in the nude at scout camp back in the 1960s. How did you sleep at home?

Comments by Josh H on 7th April 2020  

I was at an all boys secondary school in the same era as you i.e 1961 till 1966.I remember that on my first day as a small 11 year old the eldest lads form 5 who were coming up to 16 looked liked giants. My elder brother was at the school but he did not want to know his young kid brother. At least I could find out some things about school when we were at home.So I was aware that pe would be shorts no pants and black plimsolls no socks. However, it still seemed strange the first time we had pe having to strip off and change in a communal changing room. Previously at Junior school boys did pe in their grey school shorts and singlet.
However it did not take long to get used to it and realise that although we were all boys there we differences in body shape.
I also remember the school medicals especially the cough test for the testicles. The examination never included a check of the penis. When you were snipped was it traumatic? As well as my experiences at school, I was a scout for many years and when we went to camp there normally 6 boys to a tent and again we got used to undressing for bed when most of us slept in the nude.
AS you say all of these experience stood as good stead for later life. Like you I had water problems and ended up having a catheter up mu penis for 7 months. This had to be changed regularly until I had an operation which was done through my penis. Like you I think over the years we were accustomed to being seen and examined and so there was no embarrassment when ~I doctors examining and operating on me in those areas.
Nowadays when I go to the gym I am happy to change in the communal area, but many of the younger lads "disappear" into the toilet cubicles to change.
It seems that nowadays youngsters are not comfortable with communal changing areas.

Comments by Biggles on 7th April 2020  

I remember those satin short shorts which were popular in the 70s for PE and other sports. They were also very tight compared to the loose cotton shorts we wore previously at our schools.
Having to wear them without any underwear, as you mention at your school, would have been quaint indeed since they were often semi-transparent. More so if you had mixed PE or competed in some sports in front of or together with girls.
I am sure that they were a distracting sight for girls. :)

Comments by Pete on 6th April 2020  

For those surprised about men and boys swimming naked you only need to go back to Victorian times to find it normal.

Victorian bathing machines were well known contraptions in which women went to bathe in the sea dressed in neck to ankle swimming suits that were loose and not revealing and it was topped off with a cap.

Meanwhile further along the beach men would strip naked and swim either alone or in groups with their mates with no sense of the improper about them or what they were doing.

@Philip, very interesting what you write about being desensitised - I guess we all were to a point though perhaps not as extremely as you. I don't know how the boys of today would cope! Given the times though what you say makes perfect sense.

Comments by James on 6th April 2020  

Biggles, I meant to say 'quaint custom'.

Comments by Philip on 6th April 2020  

I think @James on 3rd April 2020 makes a very valid point about boys being desensitised about being naked together from an early stage and not being shy about it.

In the 1960s there was definitely an expectation of World War 3 on the horizon though it faded as time went on. Many male PE teachers were ex military PTIs who had done National Service and they were very much perhaps all one of a kind otherwise why in schools across the land were lads ordered to take off their underpants and go commando and whacked when they didn't?

In those days we were also used to school medicals lined up in our underpants to go into see the doc and dropping them once we were in the room to have penis and testicles checked. I was one of a number of lads sent to be snipped because my foreskin did not roll back as easily as the doc said it should.

I was in the military too for a while though in my case in the Army. I recall the same sort of medical James describes where we were 'processed' in groups of about thirty. There was no privacy, no dignity and certainly no warning of what was about to happen. There were docs and orderlies who were note takers who also gave gruff orders about what was required, the doc almost never spoke and for instance to look in your ears he would simply pull the one he wanted forcing you to turn your head. There were often additional observers in the room in what capacity I don't know and you certainly couldn't ask but you got used to being naked in front of other men who were also naked and men who were fully dressed very quickly.

The routine was that everyone stripped and lined up in alphabetical order, the doc and orderly moved along the line doing the same check on everyone before beginning again with a different check, notes were made but it was the orderly the doc spoke with, not you. Other than we were in a line up it wasn't so different to a school medical or the one I had before university until we were ordered to bend over with our hands clasped behind our necks and our elbows touching our knees and feet shoulder width apart. Maybe I was naive but I had no idea what was coming even as the orderly pressed down on my shoulders keeping me firmly in place. Feeling my buttocks being spread was a shock, the insertion of a finger a bigger one. I guess if you had been at the beginning of the line there might have been some lube on the glove the doc wore, half way along it had certainly worn off and wasn't replaced so there was nothing gentle about it.

Medicals always followed the same routine although you later knew what to expect and of course we got used to it.

There was no privacy in the early years either, we slept in open dormitories, there were communal washrooms where even the toilets had no partitions let alone the showers though men were used to communal showers from school.

One of the things we were told was that in enemy hands you often would be forced to strip naked and subject to a search and maybe have to remain naked for a period of time all part of breaking us down for interrogation. The thinking was we were desensitised to this by the things we were subjected to and I think it worked because being naked in front of other men does not bother me to this day.

About a year ago I was having some waterworks trouble and went along to see my GP who is about 35, he said he would prescribe me a tablet (which has been very helpful) and then with a huge sense of awkwardness he said he needed to do a rectal examination and was that alright. I told him to get on with it and dropped my trousers and underpants and bent over without any sense of embarrassment and barely felt his check so my desensitisation still serves me well!

Comments by Arby on 6th April 2020  

Like Chris and Michael I too started to wear a jockstrap whilst in the 6th Form in the late 60s. Until then it had been commando for sport and PE. Then we boys found that we needed the extra support rather than everything swinging around. I continued wearing one through sports at college and later. Even at my age now I still wear one for exercise at the gym and when riding my bike. It is really comfortable. I also, whilst in the 6th, along with my friends,wore one under shorts in hot weather. That is something else that I still do.

Comments by James on 6th April 2020  

Biggles,we wore satin shorts for PE in four different colors
to distinguish ourselves from the different school houses.
We wore our shorts without any form of underwear which I found difficult to get accustomed to this quaint as our shorts were so short.

Comments by Andrew W on 6th April 2020  

James E, my experience entirely. Swimming trunks were regarded as only an alternative underwear for those that hadn't yet round to purchasing a jockstrap. But once you bought your jock no one ever back to wearing swimwear!

Comments by James E on 6th April 2020  

I would say it was 50 50 re boys wearing jockstraps/ swimming trunks re rugby, but I would think more boys moved over to wearing a jockstrap the okder they got and especially with other sorts of sport

Comments by James E on 5th April 2020  

I would say it was 50 50 re boys wearing jockstraps/ swimming trunks re rugby, but I would think more boys moved over to wearing a jockstrap the okder they got and especially with other sorts of sport

Comments by Michael ( another Michael ) on 5th April 2020  michaelabbey@rocketmail.com 

There have been a few comments recently about boys wearing support under sports kit, PE kit etc.
Quite a number have stated that they went commando and knew nothing of supporting underwear.
When I was at school in the 60's it was quite commonplace to wear swimming trunks under our rugby, PE kit or whatever. This didn't only apply at my school but was fairly widespread. It always surprises me that so very few have mentioned this habit.
We certainly found them to be very comfortable and for rugby they most definitely added to our confidence. Something much needed during a tough match.
A few older boys started wearing jocks, but often in connection with cricket.
I'm always pleased to hear from others who want to share their experiences or observations.

Comments by Chris G on 5th April 2020  

I can't remember much about my Primary School PE classes, but I do remember that we generally just took off our shoes, socks and jumpers (if it was the time of year when we needed them) and kept on everything else, shirts, trousers/shorts, vests and underpants. The girls did similarly.

There were no no-underwear rules at either of the two secondary schools that I went to, but but most of us chose to go commando anyway. At some time in my third year in the first school, just after we switched to going topless, one lad got kicked in the "privates" during a rather boisterous team game session, at which point the PE master warned us about the dangers of going commando and advised us to either to wear supportive underpants or a jockstrap. I don't think any of us had ever heard of such a garment before, and none of us had even seen one, let alone owned one at that point.

I didn't get a jock until a few years later, when I moved to another school for my 6th form years, and found that most of my classmates wore them in preference to briefs or swimming trunks as support for athletic activities. And only for PE and games, as many of us got into the habit of wearing a jock as everyday underwear in hot weather.

Comments by Andrea on 5th April 2020  andreatwo@hotmail.co.uk 

My Ex felt the same way too; I always had to make sure there was a clean one ready when he was going to play football etc. In his case apparently it was their PE teacher who advise them all to get one.

I can remember our teacher having a similar conversation with a few of my classmates about needing support in a different area!

Comments by Andy on 5th April 2020  

In the 1980s i wore white nylon PE shorts, they where quite short and semi-transparent, cotton shorts where still about but few wore them. A no underpants rule was apllied for all activities, although most lessons where boys only i do remember an after school gym club which was mixed.

Comments by June on 5th April 2020  

Don't think any boy would think differently would they?

Jockstraps were on our school games kit list. I certaily would not have wanted to do pe, go running, play rugby etc without one.

Certainly my boys' experience and my husband's

Comments by Jeff on 4th April 2020  


I honestly cant remember what we wore for pe at primary school, it was a long time ago! we had black plimsoles with elastic not laces but what we took off / changed into I am not sure. There was 'apparatus' in the school hall. Older boys (after I had left) played football on the field.

Jockstraps were on our school games kit list. I certaily would not have wanted to do pe, go running, play rugby etc without one.

Comments by John on 4th April 2020  

In the 1970s we wore white short cotton shorts and no underwear for PE; the shorts were quite short like footballers started to wear in the 70s. We just wore shorts and pumps no tops allowed.

Comments by James E on 4th April 2020  

Nothing unusual there ... l started wearing a jockstrap for sport at 14 mainly because the other boys did. Never regretted it though and still prefer to wear one when l go running even at my grand old age :=)

Comments by Biggles on 4th April 2020  

About PE shorts.

The boys in the picture, which is probably from the 50s, they are wearing long, almost knee length, shorts, which is probably cotton
We wore the same kind of shorts at our school in the 60s except that they were shorter.

It seems that from the 70s the very short, nylon type shorts were more popular in some schools.
It also seems that this trend was reversed a few decades later when many kids today are wearing tracksuit trousers for PE.

What type of PE shorts did you guys wear at school?

Comments by James on 4th April 2020  

Biggles,we were not allowed to wear any form of underwear under our shorts for PE and games and our shorts were were inordinately brief unlike the ones in the picture.
I also wore short trousers for school and home as this was my mother's preference,although they were not compulsory for school.

Comments by Bernard on 3rd April 2020  

Biggles - At primary school p.e. was segregated in the last couple of years and the boys wore a pair of black shorts with no shirt and no footwear inside, sometimes plimsolls outside, other times barefoot. However, I think we kept our pants on under our shorts.
At secondary school it was made clear that we wore shorts only - no shirt, no footwear and no underwear. As others have said hygiene was given as one reason - it would have been pretty unpleasant to put sweaty pants back on after our shower. Also, so we were told, it was good for boys to have plenty of fresh air and not get too hot in that area.
Things did bounce around as we got older but I don't think it bothered any-one even on cross-country runs where we were more concerned with where we put our feet. I rather enjoyed the feeling of our minimalist kit.
I too didn't hear about jock straps until long after I left school.

Comments by James on 3rd April 2020  

Biggles, the reason for no underpants was hygiene. In the gym or running or doing athletics you sweated, playing rugby you got dirty and sweated.

Back then mothers did not have automatic washing machines and underpants were generally white cotton Ys. My mother certainly would not have appreciated several extra pairs to wash and iron.

There was supposed to be a second reason back in those days. World War 3 was expected and men in numbers would be called up and forced to live in basic military conditions, it was considered better that we were comfortable together when naked and in no way shy in front of other men and for most that desensitising worked, a few probably remained uncomfortable but the majority weren't bothered by for instance communal showers and stripping naked.

I joined the navy for a while after university and from the pre-entry medical group nudity was the norm where we were lined up naked and examined with no privacy at all including examination of penis with an order to skin back if necessary and testicles and then turning round and bending over for a first taste of a gloved finger. In the latter case there was no warning about what was to happen, I was just aware of the lad bending next to me gasping but no idea why and all of a sudden I was gasping too and my eyes watered followed closely by a gasp from the lad on the other side of me as the doc moved swiftly along the line.

At university and later when I had to do my own laundry I didn't wear underpants for sport or gym because I had extras to wash and anyway, I was used to going commando. I did have a jockstrap for rugby at university but I preferred to just hang loose and I thought I ran better that way. Sometimes something would slip out but no one took any notice. Even today it's not so unusual to see a bare bottom in a rugby tackle.

Comments by Dave on 3rd April 2020  

Hi, I started wearing a jockstrap at 16 for X country running after seeing other lads wearing them

Comments by William on 3rd April 2020  

Hygiene is the answer. We were expected to work hard in gym. It made no sense putting sweaty pants back on after having a shower. Thus no pants. It was our drill from day one and I never heard anyone even mention it. The only time it crossed my mind was doing handstands when another boy would hold your legs. I never saw jockstraps until after I left school.

Comments by Andrea on 3rd April 2020  andreatwo@hotmail.co.uk 

At primary school if you did not have proper pe kit, what did you wear, vest and pants or something else?

When it came to the 3rd form at senior school, were jockstraps included on the pe kit list sent home to parents or were you just told about them by your teacher?

Comments by Biggles on 3rd April 2020  

What was the reason for not being allowed to wear underwear for PE?

At least they afforded some support, so it would have been illogical not being allowed to wear them.

The only reason I have heard was hygiene, but then our PE lessons only lasted an hour or 90 minutes at most, which I presume was the same for most schools. So this would not have been an issue.

I also cannot imagine boys doing long country runs in just shorts with everything dangling under their shorts, and I don't think that jockstraps were so common then.
From what others describe most say that they wore nothing under their shorts, even for cross country runs.

Comments by Jeff on 2nd April 2020  

At primary school we did not have proper pe kit; I left and went to Prep school (boarding) when I was 10. Here we had proper pe and games kit, underwear was not allowed. At the senior school again pants were not allowed, from 3rd form onwards jockstraps were worn.

Comments by Simon on 31st March 2020  

Thanks to those who responded to my question about the order in which boys tended to get changed for PE. You've confirmed my view that it depended a lot on body confidence!
To answer Dave's question, I don't know if the shirtless PE rule was still widespread after mid 80s - but I know from friends and family who are slightly younger that it still existed in some schools more recently. Maybe not a blanket shirtless rule for boys but definitely shirts and skins at least.

Comments by Andy on 31st March 2020  

At my (all boys) school we had three PE teachers, all men and I think ex-military PTIs, that was common in the 1960s and early 1970s.

There was a no underpants rule, PE was shorts and plimsolls only.

Two were younger and while strict, popular. They were fair, encouraged you but also whacked hard when you were out of line. They both wore white shorts and plimsolls as we did and you could tell that neither wore underpants.

The third teacher who was older was disliked. I suppose these days we would say he was burned out. He had brought forward a couple of good athletes who had won things at the Commonwealth Games and I think was satisfied with what he had done and was now all for an easy life. He often sent classes out to run alone rarely joining in anything. I do remember one summer day though when he did decide to participate in athletics which was track that day. I remember being fascinated to run behind him and realise that he was wearing a pair of very patterned brown and orange underpants under his shorts. Nylon Ys were becoming the fashion at the time and I remember wondering why a man who slippered lads mercilessly for wearing underpants was wearing underpants.

Of course no one dared ask.

Comments by Dave on 31st March 2020  

For those who went to school in the 80's:
You have written you had a shirtless PE rule.
Was it widespread in the UK as far as the 80's? I've thought it was widespread only to the late 70's or early 80's.

Comments by Josh H on 31st March 2020  

I do not remember our pe teacher checking as such to see if we were wearing pants under our shorts. As other people have said our shorts were white and very thin, if I remember correctly some of them were nylon The only style underwear worn at that time was normally white briefs and if worn under the shorts would have shown through. Over time, coloured briefs came into fashion and it certainly would not be possible to wear them under white shorts.
There was only one occasion that I remember one of the lads was silly enough(yes he purposely wore pants under his shorts why I don't know)and of course the teacher saw them So, in front of the class he had to remove his sorts go to the changing room and return in just shorts and then bend over and "receive" the slipper.
No one ever did any such thing again.

Comments by Andrea on 31st March 2020  andreatwo@hotmail.co.uk 

At secondary school, far from being made to remove our underwear, our indoor PE kit consisted of the regulation navy blue knickers we were supposed to wear under our classroom uniform and a white polo shirt. We were also allowed to wear our vests or bras under our polo shirts. However, at the end of the lesson we did have to strip off for a shower. Did you have to shower after PE / games?

At primary school both boys and girls wore their normal underwear beneath their PE kit. I know this because we had to change in the same classroom. Was this the case at your primary?
Towards the end of primary, most girls developed the knack of putting on their PE shorts or skirt before removing our skirts or dresses.

Comments by William on 30th March 2020  

I was at a boys' grammar school in the '60s. For gym we wore shorts (no pants) without a top. How boys got changed reflected their confidence. At first I was shy and skinny and changed in the way described by Andy, even though we all saw each other nude in the showers. But the way the confident boys just stripped off looked more manly and after a while I followed their example. Hiding behind a shirt started to look more embarrassing than having nothing on.
For the shy boys getting changed for swimming was worse than gym. We went to the local pool and two boys changed in a cubicle designed for one adult. You can't dry yourself wearing wet trunks so you just had to take them off and get on with it. Modesty was impossible.
We never wore anything under shorts: gym, rugby, hockey, athletics, cross country. I don't think we were inspected. None of us would have dared to disobey our gym master; he would have noticed in the showers. No top and no pants quickly became ingrained. It helped that it was the same for everyone.

Comments by Chris G on 30th March 2020  

I was a "top-off-first/top-on-last" dresser right from early childhood, probably responding to a domestic ethos of covering at least one's "rude bits" even if otherwise completely bare. In that respect, I was perhaps one of Simon's "confident boys" although as my mum, unlike Simon's, was rather keen on vests, until I was about ten I rarely went without one, except for the few weeks of the school summer holidays. And so it continued into secondary school, until the introduction of topless PE eliminated the need to take (or wear) a vest to PE classes and with it ultimately eliminated the need to wear a vest to school, or anywhere else, at all. I certainly had no issue with wearing just shorts and plimsolls for PE, and three years of topless PE certainly prepared me for my transition to boarding school and life in an open-plan dormitory, where nobody wore vests and where almost everyone slept bare-chested.

Comments by Paul on 30th March 2020  

Biggles: we had a no underpants rule and PE shorts were thin and white so anything underneath was quite obvious. Periodically there would be a check when we all had to turn to the benches in the changing room and bend over and anyone wearing underpants had to take them off, step back into their shorts and stay bending over for a dose of the strap, six was normal and it stung so much I take my underpants off on autopilot to this day.

The PE teachers were often in the changing room when we were changing and any lad dithering over taking off his underpants would be reprimanded. Equally they were there when we were stripping for showers and if you were wearing underpants you were as good as caught.

It really wasn't worth the risk of the strap and I would say compliance was over 95% if not 99%.

Comments by Biggles on 30th March 2020  

To Josh and others who had the no-underpants rule for PE at their school.

Were there any inspections or supervision by the coach or teacher to make sure that no boys wore underpants under their PE shorts?

We only wore shorts for PE at my secondary school but we didn't have to take our underpants off.

Also, for the female posters here, were there any girls schools which applied this no-underpants rule for PE, or was it just for boys?

One last question, was this rule for boys ever applied in primary or junior schools, or just in secondary and other older boys schools?

Comments by Andy on 29th March 2020  

I too was at school in the 80s, I remember always getting changed for PE in the same order. Being shy I always took my trousers and underpants off first, that way my shirt offered me some cover while putting on my shorts. I always put my T- shirt on last. I noticed others changed their top half first and this left the lower half fully exposed while putting on their shorts. Some also changed sitting down, but I found shuffling into shorts a difficult so always stood to pull up my shorts.

Comments by Josh H on 29th March 2020  

I attended an all boys secondary school 1961 to 1966. I do not ever worrying about having to do pe with not top or just wearing shorts with no underwear and plimsolls with no socks. It just was that way. I suppose I was a bit ready for it because my elder brother attend the same school I already knew that when I went there it would be the same for me.

Comments by Simon on 29th March 2020  

Rachael, to answer your question my mum didn't insist I wore a vest - I'm sure if I'd said I preferred to go without, she wouldn't have made a fuss. It just wasn't something I'd ever thought about but you're right, PE probably did influence me to gradually stop wearing a vest. I was 12 the first time I did PE barechested and probably started to leave the vest behind within a year.
One thing I remember noticing, as a general rule, was that the more confident boys tended not to wear vests. Also, they would often get changed for PE in a distinctive order - taking their school shirts off immediately to show their bare chests before even untying their shoelaces or anything like that. Then, if we were doing PE outdoors, the T shirt or football shirt was the last thing to go on. If PE was in the gym it was mandatory skins anyway.
Boys who were a bit more shy tended to change in a different manner and I was no different at first, anyway - I'd put on the rest of my PE kit and postpone taking my vest off until last.
Did anyone else find boys had a particular order for getting changed?

Comments by Chris G on 28th March 2020  

Rachael: Introduction of topless PE when I was about 13 had the unintended consequence, for me and for virtually all of my mates, in that instead of going to school wearing our vests, taking them off for PE and putting them on again after the lesson, we soon "forgot" put them back on and we generally went vest-less for the remainder of the day. Inevitably, it was then just a short step not to bother with a vest at all on PE days, and a further short step to not wearing one at all. Mum, always keen on kids wearing vests, even in summer, had been surprisingly encouraging when I first told her I wouldn't need a PE vest any more, but was less enthusiastic when she realised that I had stopped wearing them altogether, even in winter, as a direct result of this.

Comments by Rachael on 28th March 2020  

Hi Simon, did your mum make you wear a vest under your school shirt? I remember there were plenty of colours vests that lay discarded by those on the skins team. Did being picked to strip off to the waist influence to stop wearing one and what age were you when you stopped.

John, thank you for taking the time to reply to my post, it's appreciated

Comments by Chris G on 28th March 2020  

I was about 13 when topless PE was introduced in my school. The PE master gave us advance warning just before the summer holidays that from the beginning of the next term the only kit that we would require for indoor PE would be shorts and plimsolls, and actually asked what we felt about the change. I don't remember anyone, in my class at least, having any objections or reservations. As far as I can remember, all of us thought it a good idea and there was a lot of working on tans during the holiday months in readiness.

Unfortunately, after three years of topless PE at this particular school, I moved on to a boarding school because of family circumstances. Here, heavyweight cotton T-shirts and rugby shorts were required PE wear at all times, a ruling which concerted pleas by myself and a number of like-minded classmates to the headmaster and PE teacher failed to influence.

Comments by John on 27th March 2020  

Simon, Rachael,
I totally agree with both of you that requiring boys to strip to the waist for PE was a good thing. Iím sure that the boys that I was at school with were more disciplined exercising bare chested and it helped to deal with any body issues that any of us might have had. I was a skinny kid but soon realized that I was amongst other skinny kids and lads who had weight issues. We tried harder at PE and did want to look look good as we got into our teens.

The skins team in shirts vs skins team games always seemed to work together and often beat the shirts. Making lads wear tops for PE is wrong if lads donít want to wear them.

Comments by Simon on 27th March 2020  

Rachael, you're absolutely right. Even when I was at school a lot of us boys had hang ups about our bodies and I suspect that problem is worse nowadays. I was initially shy about going barechested in PE because I had excess puppy fat. But there were other boys who found it difficult because they were worried about being too bony, or having acne, or later on having too much or not enough body hair... whatever it was, we all had to deal with our issues. I think in the long run it helped being required to strip to the waist. You wanted to look good, in front of the other boys as well as the girls - and later on it was such a confidence boost if you realised a girl was impressed by your body!
I don't know if others agree, but I think gping barechested also helped to make us more disciplined overall.

Comments by Ryan on 27th March 2020  

I agree with Danny. Following Mr.Dando's comments where is this all going to lead. Are we going to expect a return to the Victorian swimming attire and arrangements for male and female? The majority of males do not wear a top when they go swimming. Furthermore does he expect that men will be made to wear tops at all time even in the summer?
When swimming my preference is to wear brief style trunks and that should be my prerogative without anyone else saying what should be worn. Unfortunately, there are some people who want to dictate otherwise. Likewise it is up to individual schools and institutions to set out what should be worn as uniform or sports gear.

Comments by Andrea on 25th March 2020  andreatwo@hotmail.co.uk 

Mr Dando,

My reading of the original rules is that boys had the OPTION to go bare chested for indoor PE if they so wished, not that they were FORCED to. So it could be argued that the new rules are more restrictive. Similarly it has removed the option for year 4 to 6 girls to wear leotards if they wish to.

Comments by Rachael on 25th March 2020  

Mr Dando, surely encouraging boys to strip to the waist is a good thing. It would help reduce the do called hang ups with their physique and done in the safety of school and fully CRB checked teachers.

Comments by Danny on 25th March 2020  


Maybe your other campaign to make boys wear tops for swimming to cover their chests will also be adopted in swimming pools and for school swimming.
Who knows.

Comments by John on 24th March 2020  

Mr Dando,
I completely disagree with you, boys are different from girls and this is a biological fact. Boys should be allowed to decide if they wish to wear a top or not for indoor PE; if boys prefer to do gym classes barechested they should be allowed to do so and not forced to wear a vest or t shirt.