Peter, there wasn't any encouraging going on from what I can remember, it was just noticing others not taking them off coupled with the teachers taking no action that I suppose made me think I could get away with it as well.When the teacher reminded us we shouldn't have any pants on and he was going to do a check I guess I felt worried. It was unusual even in the early seventies to wear shorts in school!I did not like it at first but soon got used to it and it was a lot more comfortable than running around with a shirt on sweating.
Even for boys of my age at that time,shorts were readily available,either off the peg at Marks or any school outfitter would supply them,even allowing to try them on in the shop,so a perfect fit could be achieved.
One of my worst experiences was when my father took me to the barbers in town after school.
Time and again she insisted on more being cut, and the barber resumed his snipping and his ongoing conversation with my mother.
Eventually there was nothing left of my hair but bristles.
As you say'it was unusual,even in the early seventies to wear shorts in school'and that's probably why the lads in the barbers were sniggering.
My parents considered that a particularly short hairstyle complimented my looks and with my ultra short trousers gave that 'young boy look'which is what they achieved.
One heartless teacher said we were better off without mats altogether, as we would then try harder not to fall in the first place!
Frank, It is comforting to share the same adolescent experiences,as I also had the same haircut style that you described.
Although we had a very strict school uniform,there was no restriction on when we were allowed to wear short trousers,so after my mother checked with my form teacher,it was decreed that I should remain wearing short trousers till I left school.
At that time at age thirteen it meant I would have to spend another three years wearing short trousers!
Of course,shorts were considerably shorter in the seventies,which of course appealed to my mother as she considered boys looked much smarter when wearing that particular style.