Essay on The Debate Over School Uniforms

660 Words 3 Pages
The Debate Over School Uniforms

Context

In some countries, e.g. Britain and many Caribbean states, it is common for school pupils to have to wear distinctive uniforms identifying them with a particular institution, especially to the end of compulsory education at 16. In others, e.g. France, the USA, it is rare for uniforms to be worn, although some private schools may retain them. In both situations the desirability of school uniforms remains controversial among students, parents and educationalists. As a result of this some schools have abandoned uniform at the same time as others have adopted it.

pros

Uniform helps to create a strong sense school ethos and a sense of belonging
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Pupils without expensive designer clothes and trainers may be singled out as social outcasts, or stigmatised as being from poor backgrounds. For these reasons many parents prefer uniforms as they save them money on buying clothes for school wear

cons Students always find ways to tease or bully others, regardless of what clothes are worn. Those who wish to be particularly fashionable will want to own the same number of outfits regardless of whether they are allowed to wear them to school or not, changing into them the minute that classes are over. Parents often find some uniform items, e.g. jackets, very expensive compared to the rest of their child's wardrobe, and complain they can never be worn outside the school environment.

pros

Uniform has practical benefits when students are outside the school building. Being readily identified with a particular institution may make students more aware of their behaviour while travelling to and from the school, leading them to act more considerately, e.g. to other passengers on buses or trains. On organised trips away from the school it is much easier for teachers to ensure they haven't lost anyone and to monitor behaviour, than if students wore their own clothes and blended in with the crowds.

cons

Uniform makes students very identifiable and emphasises the divisions between
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