Is there ANY proven correlation between school uniform and performance?

(573 Posts)
Hullygully Thu 02-May-13 09:11:46

Any data (either way) anywhere?

LeaveTheBastid Thu 02-May-13 09:34:07

I know personally I always worked better on days when we couldn't wear our own clothes. Own clothes meant slack day, messing about, not there to work just there to compare clothes and chat at the back of the class. Wearing a uniform made it feel like I was there for a purpose, I suppose in a way a work uniform does.

Hullygully Thu 02-May-13 09:34:44

You are making assumptions about my reasons for the question there, school governor. And they are quite wrong.

Tee2072 Thu 02-May-13 09:35:44

School uniform cheap for poor people, really?

Freakin' jumper for £15, polo with logo for £11??

That's cheap? Not where I shop for his play clothes, it isn't!

ryanboy Thu 02-May-13 09:37:14

I think it would be quite hard to provide robust data either way.A new more stringent uniform policy is often part of much wider changes in a school (eg new HT, new discipline policy) so hard to isolate the effects of the uniform on its own.

RooneyMara Thu 02-May-13 09:37:48

exactly Tee

home clothes can be bought very very cheaply, to fit and to be comfy and to allow for play. School uniforms are like little office clothes - completely inappropriate for primary age children.

Secondary maybe. Not primary.

Haberdashery Thu 02-May-13 09:38:41

>> I know personally I always worked better on days when we couldn't wear our own clothes. Own clothes meant slack day, messing about, not there to work just there to compare clothes and chat at the back of the class.

Ah, but you're approaching that from school uniform being the norm. In schools without uniform, you don't have that 'day off' feeling because you are used to wearing your own clothes.

ArtexMonkey Thu 02-May-13 09:41:03

I'm glad you started this thread hully.

My dcs' school has a uniform, but it's not compulsory and they're consulting on whether to make it compulsory. I'm opposed for many of the reasons Rooney has already said.

I'm glad to have some data to back myself up.

thebody Thu 02-May-13 09:41:10

And as they all look the same then these expensive jumpers etc are easily lost/nicked.

On 4th child now and I have refused to re buy the gym kit.

If the school want her in it they can fork out the cash themselves.

Freakin ridiculous in a recession.

Hullygully Thu 02-May-13 09:41:56

At my dc's school the sixth form has not had a uniform, now they plan to make them wear "business suits" (the years below have a uniform).

I find their given reasons questionable and hence am interested in all evidence and data around the issue.

schoolgovernor Thu 02-May-13 09:43:45

p.s. Even now, in my advanced years, I am aware that what I am wearing can have an effect on my attitude. I'm sure if people are honest they will admit to feeling the same. I put on my slouchy track bottoms, it affects how I behave. I dress up in a smart suit, somehow I stand straighter and I come over all business-like.
I'm not too old to remember how my behaviour adjusted when I emerged from my room as a punk and set off down the street. It was almost as if I needed to live the part as well as just look it. That is why I am in despair when I hear of parents thinking it's OK to send children to school in their Goth gear etc. If we're honest we all know bloody well that has an effect on how they are going to behave. Which is fine in leisure time, but not in school.
And last bit of rant... another reason for teaching them to wear uniform when they are in school is because school is a place of work. Get them into the mindset where they realise that certain "individuality" isn't appropriate in the workplace and hopefully they will take that concept with them when they try to get into the world of work. You teach them that expressing their "individuality" by their appearance is somehow so important that other considerations can be ignored, and they are the people moaning and wringing their hands because they can't get jobs. They are people that think they are making some sort of point by turning up at interviews with an unprofessional appearance. Reality check - life's a bitch and sometimes you need to toe the line in order to get somewhere.
I know I'm showing my vintage, but this just wasn't an issue when I was at school. I think because we wouldn't have been able to afford the latest trends to wear to school in any case, but also because the majority of parents and pupils had more respect for schools.

RooneyMara Thu 02-May-13 09:44:16

When you have got a code then if something is damaged or dirty and expensive to replace, they just have to wear it anyway. So people KNOW who is well to do and whose home life is chaotic.

If they could wear anything, there would always be spare clothes. Clothes are very cheap in places like Asda etc. I think uniform is a very very outdated concept for primary kids and if we had a school with no uniform round here that's where my children would be.

I HE one of them as it is.

Hullygully Thu 02-May-13 09:46:42

I am old too, schoolgov. I went to 6th form college as a punk as did my peer group, somehow we all managed to get good a levels, go to good universities and function in the world.

And there are an awful lot of careers and professions these days where individuality and creativity are a must. We are not all bank clerks these days. That idea is terribly outmoded.

schoolgovernor Thu 02-May-13 09:47:31

If the uniform is too expensive or inaccessible maybe consider getting involved in school to bring about change. As governors we made sure that the new uniform was reasonably priced and based on items that were easy to find. Then badges were provided separately to be sewn on.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 02-May-13 09:47:35

A 'business suit' effectively just means a shirt and jacket for the lads though, doesn't it? A lot of workplaces require smart clothing...

ouryve Thu 02-May-13 09:47:53

No, but I like my kids' uniform. It's cheap and robust (it took both of my boys to finally wear holes in the £6 school sweatshirts and they're both really hard on their clothes) and takes one source of stress out of school mornings.

RooneyMara Thu 02-May-13 09:48:06

'I put on my slouchy track bottoms, it affects how I behave. I dress up in a smart suit, somehow I stand straighter and I come over all business-like.'

I don't share these sensations. If I put on 'smart' business clothes, I feel hideous - uncomfortable, uncoordinated and conspicuous.

If I wear normal, comfortable clothes (say jeans, a jumper, a nice t shirt for example) I feel graceful, coordinated, confortable and at ease with people and with my own body. I feel far more confident and in control.

Tracksuits not so much, but normal, everyday clothes certainly make me feel better than something made of manmade fibre and which restricts my movement. Like most school uniforms are/do.

RooneyMara Thu 02-May-13 09:50:58

I've already got involved. I led a campaign against the new rules that were brought in arbitrarily a couple of years ago. The school consulted on the plans and then blatantly ignored the majority views. They admitted this as there was an outcry.

Our governors upheld only part of the complaint, which was about the promise to phase in the new uniform which had been reneged on. The message was basically get stuffed.

Hullygully Thu 02-May-13 09:50:58

Yes, and when they are in "the work place" they will wear whatever clothes are necessary as everyone always has, be it overalls, a suit, a spangled leotard..

How do all those at university manage to get their degrees without wearing suits?

It's just nonsense.

schoolgovernor Thu 02-May-13 09:51:21

I know my ideas are outmoded to some, but I have seen the impact in schools and I am in at the sharp end now. Of course some jobs require expression of individuality, but let's face it, we all know that they are the minority.
In spite of Gove's eccentric ideas there are still a worrying number of schools that are letting down our children in terms of teaching. As a parent that's where I concentrate my energies, not the trivia that is uniform.
(I agree that primary school children don't need to wear little suits, but I think it's reasonable in the schools that set a simple uniform policy based on what is available in Asda).

LtGreggs Thu 02-May-13 09:52:41

What kind of school uniform have you got that restricts movement??

Trousers (or skirt & tights), polo shirt, jumper?

That's basically what my DC would be wearing if there was no uniform, but they'd just have it in random colours??

Hullygully Thu 02-May-13 09:53:13

Oh yes, Rooney, here too.

The best bit was they said there was a "consultation" but put information about the change on the website before the "consultation" had even happened.

The bit that annoys me the most is that it is ILLOGICAL. They have no reasons or evidence, just "feelings" that it will make a difference. Or that it should. A vague Govian golden-age nostalgia for something that never existed.

ouryve Thu 02-May-13 09:54:10

Our kids' school uniform is pretty generic, btw - grey or black trousers (or skirt), light blue polo shirt and royal blue jumper or sweatshirt. There's also fleeces, hats etc available. The logoed polo shirts are expensive compared to shop bought ones, so few parents bother (and I'm glad they're not compulsory as DS1 trashes his in about 5 wears, sometimes sooner). Almost all kids wear the logoed sweatshirts, though and the fleeces are popular - DS1 has one instead of a sweatshirt for chilly days.

I think that's a sensible uniform for small kids. I do agree that the more expensive school uniforms are ludicrous, though, especially for primary school kids., who go through knees, elbows and cuffs and have a tendency to paint themselves.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 02-May-13 09:54:35

I went through sixth form in the early eighties. No-one dressed like a punk, new romantic or whatever was in fashion at the time. Everyone dressed soberly and smartly. I think you should support your school.

Still18atheart Thu 02-May-13 09:54:36

I remember a teacher at school, saying that on own clothes day that the behaviour of the pupils was distinctly worse, than when it was a normal school uniform day.

I also went to a primary school where uniform wasn't compulsory at all. And I have to say it wasn't the best school for grades.

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