This topic often rears it’s head at the beginning of a new term and definitely every September. There are lots of sad faces in newspapers and enraged parents because their kids have been sent home or put in isolation for flouting school uniform rules.
I look at my two older boys going to school every day in their primary school uniforms and can’t help but feel proud of how smart they look. In fact, Harrison was featured in his school newsletter as an example of what school uniform they should be wearing.
Their uniform, being at primary school, is simple and practical – and relatively cheap. They wear a gorgeous royal blue v-neck sweatshirt with the school logo on (although they do have a non-logo one as a spare), a blue and white striped elastic tie, white polo shirt, grey or black trousers, black shoes and a waterproof coat. It looks smart and is completely appropriate for Infant school. When they go to secondary school, I’ll probably cry a little bit inside at the cost of the uniforms, but if they have to wear it, they have to wear it. It’s school rules, and if you choose to send your child to a school, you are agreeing to keep to their rules.
When I see the sad faces in the papers because the girls have been sent home for wearing leggings instead of trousers, or the boys have black trainers on instead of shoes, I can’t help but think if they had just read and kept to the uniform policy, it wouldn’t have happened. Uniform for secondary kids can be expensive and often difficult to get hold of – I know; I went to an all-girls school who had to wear bottle green. Do you know how difficult it is to get hold of bottle green trousers or skirts when you’re 5ft 10? They were bloody minging as well! But – it was school uniform. My mum made sure my brothers and I went off to school every day wearing our proper school uniform. Ok – so I might have added an inch of makeup to my face when I got there and added a pair of giant hoop earrings, but I generally stuck to it!
I see teenagers from several different secondary schools in our area. Most of them look so smart. There are a few girls who have very short skirts on (but let’s face it, we all rolled them up a bit!), but generally they look really nice. It doesn’t suck out their individuality – an argument often used against school uniforms. Every child is a different shape and size, with different hair and different faces.
Another argument often used against school uniforms is that wearing one doesn’t make you learn any better. Whilst that might be the case, it’s one less distraction for pupils. There’s no discussion about who has the better trainers or the latest designer hoody. The uniform is (usually) practical – so there aren’t any children dressed inappropriately for the weather. It also puts them into a good mindset for how they may need to dress when they go to work – most jobs have dress codes or uniforms.
I think a little bit more flexibility and common sense on the schools part can go a long way. Being able to purchase the items of clothing from a variety of shops is useful, for both cost and convenience. Instead of being forced to buy expensive logo jumpers and blazers, the option of buying plain ones and sewing on badges should be there. Girls (and boys) should be given the option of being able to wear shorts, trousers or skirts.
What are your thoughts on school uniform? Do you think they’re a good idea or have they had their time?