Today I was doing some training with the Prince's Trust (I do a lot of work for charity, but I don't like to talk about it etc. etc.).
One of the things we were asked to do is to think about our secondary school experience - both the positive and the negative, and then consider how that might engage or disengage a young person who might have learning difficulties, problems at home, an unstable lifestyle and so on.
So everyone was sharing their school experiences, and most of the people in the group were a good 10-15 years older than me. And suddenly I realised something: I went to school in the 1950s. Not literally of course, but whilst the other delegates were talking about smoking behind the toilet block, and bunking off during cross country, I told everyone how we had Flower Monitresses, whose role it was to ensure fresh flowers were in the classroom each week, by way of a Flower Rota. A Door Monitress would stand outside each classroom and open the door for the teacher at the start of a lesson. We would stand up when a teacher entered the room. The Window Monitress would ensure all windows were closed at the end of the day, and the Blackboard Monitress would clear the board at the end of each lesson.
Cookery baskets were compulsory, and you lost marks for forgetting your garnish.
Not having your socks pulled up was probably the most serious crime that anyone got into trouble for, although rumours spread about a girl in the year below who was suspended for a week for smoking on school property.
It was a day school, so not totally Malory Towers, but I have to admit that I think it's unlikely that the young people with whom the Prince's Trust work have ever been Flower Monitors, and perhaps I should keep that information to myself, unless I want (and deserve) severe beatings.