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School Uniform - a Good Thing, or Not?

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It seems to me that school uniforms have become generally smarter since the 1980s (blazers and ties instead of sweatshirts, proper shirts not polos, only one acceptable design of trousers, etc). Yet in many schools, getting kids to wear the uniform properly (as opposed to wearing it sloppily) is still an uphill job. Teachers spend a lot of time and energy requiring pupils to put their ties on, tuck shirts in, wear the correct shoes not trainers, etc.

 

Parents moan that it costs a lot - but I'm not sure it would cost any less if we let them wear what they wanted. (£75 jeans, etc).

 

Is it worth it?

 

Would it be better if we adopted the policy of French state schools and let pupils wear their own clothes (with the exception of items deemed 'unsuitable' e.g. skimpy tops, tight fitting shorts, etc)? It would be one less battle to fight.

 

I don't have a view on this - I'm just interested in people's views. How do you (and your children?) feel about school uniform?

 

For the record I hated mine, but it did consist of something mediaeval nuns would have shrunk from...dark brown, thick itchy tunic, stiff shirt, barathea blazer and beret in days before berets were fashionable!

Edited by aliceBB

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I love school uniforms! No fighting about what to wear. No having to have something everyone else has. Plus it equalizes everyone. Poor, middle class, wealthy all look the same. My youngest has to wear a uniform to her school. Just wish my oldest did at her school.

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Depends! Tories like uniforms , while Socialists tend not to!

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Depends! Tories like uniforms, while Socialists tend not to!

 

An interesting theory.

 

Notwithstanding, what do you think of them?!

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Depends! Tories like uniforms , while Socialists tend not to!

 

I'll be the exception to that "rule" then.

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Not, students should be allowed to wear what they want.

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It seems to me that school uniforms have become generally smarter since the 1980s (blazers and ties instead of sweatshirts, proper shirts not polos, only one acceptable design of trousers, etc). Yet in many schools, getting kids to wear the uniform properly (as opposed to wearing it sloppily) is still an uphill job. Teachers spend a lot of time and energy requiring pupils to put their ties on, tuck shirts in, wear the correct shoes not trainers, etc.

 

I like the principle o uniform, but there does need to be fexibility. They need an option of trousers or skirts, some schools seem to think hundred if not thousands of years of history wearing skirts should account for nothing.

Jumpers and blazers should be optional, some people are warm, some cold, some biulding the same. All children are not the same.

Anything natural is ok, unnatural is not ok. Bears and hair are natural; jewelry and colour is unnatural.

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An interesting theory.

 

Notwithstanding, what do you think of them?!

Ahh! that would blow my cover!

But when I was at school and uniforms were introduced for the first time at our school when I was eleven, I felt fantastic and more like a team player for the first time,just like football teams and the armed forces etc,were dressed the same.There is all the rest of your life to express individual dress tastes, to me school is not the place,and the old excuse that some kids cannot afford the uniform is absolute rubbish these days.My son wore mostly second hand uniforms from the second hand school uniform shop near his school for most of his schooldays!

Edited by Oh Carol

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It is certainly true that if left to themselves many teenagers would spend ages agonising over what to wear each day, then worrying that they didn't look cool enough. It shocked me to discover that 'wear what you will days' were voted one of the most stressful things about one school I taught at, in a secret survey of pupils. Peer pressure and poor self esteem meant that some kids actually truanted that day (the attendance officer discovered this) in order to avoid their clothes being sneered at.

 

For that reason I was quite glad of the uniform at my own kids' schools, but I think it is definitely the 'achilles heel' of a school discipline policy - easy to subvert in a subtle way - enough for the pupil to make a bit of a statement (badly tied tie, pink socks, bright orange streak in dark hair, wrist watch the size of Big Ben, etc), but not enough to warrant huge amounts of staff energy being expended on it. Teenagers are very resourceful in devising ways to subvert the uniform rules a bit - minimum effort, maximum reaction!

 

Even if you sort the clothes out, they start on the 'make up and hair' infractions...some girls would spend a fortune on make-up and hours applying it before school, only to be sent, every day, to remove it...it caused a lot of grumpiness first thing in the morning. Not to mention many bright orange tide marks.

 

Their stock response is 'It doesn't affect our learning, so why is it such a big deal?' to which a school can only really reply ; 'It's a big deal because we say it is'. (Which isn't much of an answer, if you think about it!).

Edited by aliceBB

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If school uniform is such a good idea, why don't teachers wear one? Nurses, police officers, fire fighters, paramedics, military forces etc all wear them, why not teachers?

 

It's always struck me as a slightly backward idea in so many ways, but support for uniforms, and the reintroduction of them, always seems to go hand in hand with times of economic hardship, lurches to the right etc etc.

 

Predominantly, I think they are used as a subtle aspirational signal, for schools to be more like their private, better funded, smaller class sized, brethren.

 

At least, with school uniform, it's easy to find lost jumpers - oh no, wait, they all look identical, don't they?

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It depends on the school and its students.

 

I never had a uniform and never felt left out (never, ever had the cool clothes, always off the very end of the clearance rack clothes and trainers and bags) I was picked on for it, but it wasnt something I couldnt handle. I didnt envy people because they had Nikes and I was in Thom McCanns.

 

When I was old enough to take on part time work, I did so in order to buy the clothes I wanted (within reason) Even still, it was mainly to get band tshirts rather than designer goods.

 

I think expressing your own taste in fashion, as you grow up, is important. It allows someone to speak out without offending (much) others. School uniforms are soo dull and old fashioned. This pattern carries into adulthood.

 

Even more so in the work place. Theres so, so, soooo much black, navy and greys here. Its depressing to look at your colleagues some days, its like youre in an office full of people heading to their Aunties funeral.. Theres turquoise, grape, fuchsia and white in my work wardrobe. No black trousers.

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It depends on the school and its students.

 

I never had a uniform and never felt left out (never, ever had the cool clothes, always off the very end of the clearance rack clothes and trainers and bags) I was picked on for it, but it wasnt something I couldnt handle. I didnt envy people because they had Nikes and I was in Thom McCanns.

 

When I was old enough to take on part time work, I did so in order to buy the clothes I wanted (within reason) Even still, it was mainly to get band tshirts rather than designer goods.

 

I think expressing your own taste in fashion, as you grow up, is important. It allows someone to speak out without offending (much) others. School uniforms are soo dull and old fashioned. This pattern carries into adulthood.

 

Even more so in the work place. Theres so, so, soooo much black, navy and greys here. Its depressing to look at your colleagues some days, its like youre in an office full of people heading to their Aunties funeral.. Theres turquoise, grape, fuchsia and white in my work wardrobe. No black trousers.

Equally it's so depressing to see 11 year olds heading to the catwalk wearing clothes that would be more suitable on their mothers back!

School uniforms are a discipline,but as someone said earlier ,there is the rest of your life to express yourself.Unfortunately lots of people these days hate discipline and conformity.Because "You are worth it" ,uniformity is boring and old hat!................I do not agree, but respect other opinions!

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