DOES SCHOOL UNIFORM MAKE STUDENTS FEEL MORE INCLUDED?
With 82% of schools in the UK having school uniforms or dress codes, do we really know the reasons why most of our educational institutions feel the need to put their students in blazers, blouses and ties?
One is inclusion. Does school uniform make students feel more included? I asked a teacher about the change in behaviour of students on mufti days or non-uniform days. She stated that she ‘can see the standard of behaviour decline.’ She continued saying she sees ‘a lack of concentration when students are out of uniform.’ This could suggest that people care more about their clothes than the work they’ve been given and focusing and respecting their teacher. Is this what would happen if we did not have uniform?
I asked the students their opinion on school uniform . Out of the ten 13-14 year olds I asked, only three agreed with the statement that school uniform makes students feel more included. One of the students I asked said liked it as ‘it makes everyone look the same.’ In contrast, someone who dislikes uniform said ‘ it doesn’t let my individuality show.’ One told me ‘it depends on the student’s mindset and attitude.’ Another said that she thinks ‘it saves time in the morning and makes you more focused for school and the day ahead instead of having to worry about what to wear and the fear of being judged.’
There are clearly lots of different opinions on this subject, but it is possible to argue that if students wore their own clothes, there would be more scope for them to be bullied because differences in parental wealth would become more obvious through the clothes the student wears.
As a new student, when I started year 7 in secondary school, I thought that uniform almost suppressed my individuality. However, later on it made me feel more included as it acts as an ‘equaliser.’ A teacher also said ‘it saves time, money and energy.’
There are more secondary schools with school uniform than there are primary schools (98% of secondary schools compared to 80% of primary schools) which makes sense as secondary school aged pupils may become more judgemental than primary school aged pupils. From a financial point of view, the school uniform industry makes a large profit as it is worth around £450 million each year. However, wearing school uniform is still much cheaper than wearing your own clothes every day.
I myself think that school uniform is a fundamental part of a school environment as it plays a key roll in the inclusion of students in their everyday life and makes a school more welcoming and unified.
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