This week a young Cambridgeshire boy wore a skirt to school in protest of his school’s uniform policy to ban boys from wearing shorts. Yet, this raises another question – should kids have to wear school uniforms at all?
Chris Whitehead had a knees-up this week, protesting against his school’s policy to stop boys wearing shorts.
In 2009, Impington Village College near Cambridgeshire decided that boys wouldn’t be allowed to wear shorts, a policy that year 8 pupil Chris wasn’t happy about.
The aspiring politician marched through Impington in a girls’ knee-length skirt alongside half a dozen pupils waving banners. If girls can cool down in a skirt during the summer months, why can’t boys wear shorts, he protested?
Fair play to the lad, I say. And amusingly, due to a loophole in the school’s uniform policy, boys are welcome to wear skirts. Headteacher Robert Campbell adds, ‘we would be discriminating against them if we did not allow it.’
Do school uniforms make the grade?
But skirting around that issue, there’s another around the corner – should schools impose set uniforms at all? What problem would there be if kids were allowed to wear what they wanted?
Surely school is for learning and not for telling children what to wear. School uniforms seem to come from an old-fashioned and almost militaristic tradition that says children aren’t individuals – that they should all be drones taught under the all-seeing eye of the headmaster.
But why not let them fold away the uniforms and get dressed in their own attire? An eternal mufti day if you like. Most US schools hold this view, and it’s the philosophy we take in Which? towers – wear what you like (within reason) and you’ll be more comfortable in your work.
A rise in fashion victims?
There is one potential problem that I can see with school uniforms being left in the closet. A set uniform makes it easier on families of all means – parents don’t need to splash out on school clothes, as in 2010 we found that it’s easy to find affordable uniforms that last.
Whereas an eternal mufti-day could leave some children to worry that their clothes don’t match the quality of their friends’, or that their parents can’t afford to keep up with the current fickle fashion trends. Plus, different clothing could be one more thing that bullies can pick up on to torment others.
But what do you think – have we come to the end of the age of school uniforms, or do you think that matching school garbs still holds some value?
Should children have to wear school uniforms?
Yes (92%, 465 Votes)
No (8%, 42 Votes)
Total Voters: 507