Uniforms - the great debate - Impact Teachers

Uniforms – are they a way to ensure concentration and uniformity or do they actually become a counterproductive means to maintain order?  We decided to look at the arguments for and against.

For

Number 1 – Concentration

One school of thought is that uniforms improve pupil’s ability to concentrate and learn.  Students understand they are at school and are expected to take part.  Wearing their own clothing is associated with free time and leisure and therefore likely to lead to lower effort and concentration in class.

Number 2 – Pride

Uniforms give the wearer the opportunity to be proud of the school they attend.  By ensuring all students wear uniform you provide them the opportunity to uphold the integrity of the school through their actions and display pride in the school they attend. Who doesn’t love some good old fashioned school spirit?

Number 3 – Uniformity

Through uniforms, students learn to fit in.  They do not have a choice in what to wear and this can help to provide an “all in this together” mentality.  In addition, ensuring all students wear uniforms means that students aren’t left to feel inferior to others.  There is no competition for students to wear the newest clothes or the latest accessory placing less pressure on students. Not all families can afford the latest trends or the best brands and uniforms eliminates this problem. Children can also be very judgemental and by all wearing the same clothes it is one less thing for them to use as fuel for their fire.

Against

Number 1 – Creativity and Expression

Allowing students to wear their own clothes allows them to be creative and express themselves, it shows who they are as an individual.  Part of the struggle schools find with uniforms is that they are constantly having to reinforce expectations, often taking such draconian methods as sending students home because they have worn the wrong colour item or what they are wearing isn’t strictly in keeping with the uniform policy.  This wouldn’t be necessary if you allow students to express themselves, wearing their own clothing throughout the year.

Number 2 – Cost

Uniforms can often be expensive.  Many schools have official providers of their school uniform.  If kids clothing isn’t already expensive adding on the need for parents, especially those from lower socio-economic backgrounds, to provide a new uniform each year places unnecessary strain on the parent.

Number 3 – Achievement

There is mixed views on whether making students wear uniform actually improves grades and achievement.  No clear link exists that shows wearing a uniform ensures exam success.  Therefore, why not let students be more comfortable at school and wear what they want?

We’d love to hear your views on whether you feel uniforms are a necessary part of the school experience or if we should move away from wearing them and let students choose for themselves.

For more in our series of blogs read here!

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