If it was down to you, would you want your child to wear a blazer?

(276 Posts)
MrsJamin Sun 22-Dec-13 14:37:04

I personally don't like them at all but am interested what others think as I'm on a group deciding school uniform for a Secondary school. Are there any manufacturers that make comfortable ones? Would it put you off a school or make you excited if they didn't have a blazer?

DS1 (14) wears one and i really like it. It looks smart, I wash it every week and he hasn't got to think about coats etc (teens aren't big on coats).

He uses the pockets for stuff too-he likes wearing it.

In winter he wears the school jumper underneath.

RegainingUnconsciousness Sun 22-Dec-13 14:41:16

They look so smart in them! And they do turn into a wearable pencil case.

80sdrummer Sun 22-Dec-13 14:42:06

DS wears one, he is so broad shouldered and it is in an unconventional colour so it costs £40. It's not unusual for 14-16 year olds to be the size of adults and a blazer can be cost prohibitive to many families.

I'd much rather he had a couple of sweat-shirts, it's cheaper and less likely to get ripped playing football, as well as more laundry friendly

YY-wearable pencil case Regain. grin

SofaKing Sun 22-Dec-13 14:43:49

Hate them. The secondary school that my DC are due to go to makes them compulsory for 1st years and 6th years to wear them, and it is making me consider sending them to another school.

They are not waterproof or very warm, have no hood and essentially fulfil no other function than making children look 'smart'.

I'd rather my children wear a warm, waterproof, practical garment on the way to school and get a good eduction when they are there. The school which insists on the blazers has one of the lowest results in the county, so I think this is an attempt to improve the reputation of the school without making any effort to improve the exam results of the pupils.

Sunnymeg Sun 22-Dec-13 14:46:26

Yes to a blazer, mainly because of the pockets, especially for emergency money and mobile phone. If like DS, you don't have a locker available at school a blazer pocket is the safest place to keep your important stuff.

RRudolphR Sun 22-Dec-13 14:46:52

Mine wear them and I like it

The pockets are great for storing letters, pencils, dinner money etc and, as like most teens they refuse to wear coats, at least I know they have some protection against the elements.

There is no way I would use blazer/no blazer alone as a reason for choosing a school. That would be a bit weird.

RRudolphR Sun 22-Dec-13 14:49:00

I'd rather my children wear a warm, waterproof, practical garment on the way to school

Good luck with that one ! grin

eggybrokenoff Sun 22-Dec-13 14:49:35

what sofa said - I see so many kids without a proper coat as well soaked to the skin walking to and from school. kids need a proper coat of they are walking in all weathers (dont get me started on girls in stoopid shoes for school)

Idespair Sun 22-Dec-13 14:50:06

I don't mind them as long as they are machine washable and not too expensive.

motherinferior Sun 22-Dec-13 14:51:33

Hate them. I hate uniform overall and think blazers are revolting.

RandomMess Sun 22-Dec-13 14:52:29

Hate them because they don't come in different fits ie different cuts for exceptional slim build or broader build for wider dc.

Dds is far too wide for her everywhere but too short in the sleeves so doesn't look smart.

NorbertDentressangle Sun 22-Dec-13 14:53:08

I strongly suspect DD's school (which DS will also be going to in a couple of years) will introduce them in the near future.

It became an academy a while ago, has a new head etc so changes are afoot I reckon.

Personally, although I think they look smart, I would prefer that they didn't have them. Coats are more practical and bags can be used for all the stuff that people are listing like pens, letters, phones etc.

I love school uniform. Stops the fashion show/ designer brand competitiveness that you get on dress down days.

RRudolphR Sun 22-Dec-13 14:55:44

Our school also have badges on them so you can identify not only the year group but the form. T'is brilliant!

Rufustherednosedreindeer Sun 22-Dec-13 14:56:52

The ones we have are fantastic to wash, dry in minutes. £28 each and last for donkeys and the children look very smart

But none of the children wear coats and they are half frozen in the winter, not sure what the answer is really

ivykaty44 Sun 22-Dec-13 14:57:37

A blazer is a very antiquated piece of clothing and gents clothing at that.

I wouldn't want my dc's in blazers and I don't see woman wearing blazers

I would much prefer a unisex uniform and hate to see a uniform based on mens clothing and then given to female students - tbh I find it at best insulting and at worst sexist.

a blouse polo top, sweat top and either trousers or skirt I find much less offensive and far easy to wash and dry and looks smart.

Don't get me started on ties grin

usualsuspect Sun 22-Dec-13 14:58:29

Hate them, hate uniform in general though.

I love ties. They are clip on, and in house colours. Girls and boys wear blazers at DS1's school. They all look good to me.

RRudolphR Sun 22-Dec-13 15:00:35

Ivykate - women wear suits though don't they?

DeWe Sun 22-Dec-13 15:02:59

I loved my blazer at secondary. All those lovely pockets!
Quite disappointed no schools use them round here. Dd2 is in love with the one I got her for Chalet School fancy dress.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sun 22-Dec-13 15:03:03

My dd was in the head's office this week, and saw two sample uniforms hanging up, and asked if they were changing uniform... the head sighed and said no, just every single week some uniform company send out samples, presumably because they haven't (unlike most schools round here) changed to an ersatz-private school blazer and tie combo.

I found this quite interesting - suggests a lot of schools are being cold-called and 'Jones-ed' on this (hello, Headteacher, I don't know whether you're aware that many of your neighbouring schools are changing to smarter uniforms, and I wondered whether you'd considered...) - rather than just changing because they objectively decide to!

(dd said 'I don't think we should just change it cos it's the zeitgeist', and he said he quite agreed! proud grin)

ivykaty44 Sun 22-Dec-13 15:03:43

RR - do you really see woman in a mans style suit with a tie?

BackforGood Sun 22-Dec-13 15:03:44

I like them - smart, obviously all 'uniform', useful (love the 'wearable pencil case' description). However, I wouldn't choose / not choose a school over such a thing.

RVPisnomore Sun 22-Dec-13 15:06:42

I like them my DS has to wear one with shorts, proper tie and shirt. Whilst you may not like them it does remove the whole peer pressure of children wanting to wear the latest fashions and therefore children who can't have them aren't singled out.

Uniforms and blazers I also think enforce a certain standard of what's acceptable and this I think is important.

ivykaty44 Sun 22-Dec-13 15:08:05

See now I want to start on ties and how even in hospitals they are wanting to get rid due to the bacteria that live on them and spread nasty illness - its no different in schools and ties spread germs and make people ill…

As for woman being put in a skirt shirt - not blouse but shirt and then given a tie which again is a gents piece of clothing.

Could you see boys being happy to wear a blouse and jumper?

Dwerf Sun 22-Dec-13 15:14:36

I don't like them. Our secondary scrapped jumpers in favour of generic blazers supposeably because they were cheaper and you could buy them in tesco or whatever. Handy for my six footer son who was simply not going to fit in any children's size and fairly cheap. Then they decided they would have to have logoed blazers. Price doubled. (They also decided on logoed pe kits and the price for that then just about quadrupled, cheers for that)

They'd be getting the same education in polo shirts and jumpers.

DwellsUndertheSink Sun 22-Dec-13 15:19:49

I like blazers - except my son manages to destroy them under the arm and across the backside vents. He is broad shouldered but short, so they fit where they touch.

My DD always looked smart - her school has the most hideous trousers for girls, or the regulation knee length kilt, which cannot be rolled up much. As a result, everyone wore skirts (except those that needed trousers for modesty) and looked good, unlike another local comp where the lasses where skirts so short and tight you could be forgiven for thinking they were wearing a belt.

I'm not getting how blazers are for boys and not girls? DSs school has 'boys' and 'girls' blazers - I presume the cut is different on each?

I like them. I liked them when I had to wear them! DSs wear coats over the top of theirs in really bad weather (just buy them a size bigger to fit over the top) It helps that the school sells the uniform directly so it's relatively cheap (£20 for a blazer iirc) and that they're realistically sized. DS1 is 6'3" and has no problems getting stuff to fit.

DD wears one for her primary school even though it's optional as she liked the boys ones so much

TheChimpParadox Sun 22-Dec-13 15:26:10

I like blazers. Far easier to wash and dry than the schools jumpers after having been used as part of a goal post.
Not bothered with a school winter coat either since DS started secondary school either. He's old enough to tell me if he's cold.

SMorgauseBordOfChristmasTat Sun 22-Dec-13 15:28:18

No blazer. No uniform would be even better.

octopusinasantasack Sun 22-Dec-13 15:32:06

Yes because it's the only way to get them to wear anything resembling a coat - a blazer and jumper in winter is much better than just a jumper.

ClaudiusMaximus Sun 22-Dec-13 15:35:39

Love the blazers.

Hate the current trend of people bringing their children up to think "the rules don't apply to them".

eatyourveg Sun 22-Dec-13 15:36:22

I like blazers - choose a generic black or navy one and use an iron on crest to make it school specific, that way it is easily washed, easily available on the high street for a fraction of the cost of a woollen one which is only usually stocked in the uniform dept of expensive old fashioned mens outfitters

TeenAndTween Sun 22-Dec-13 15:37:23

DD's school has blazers and I like them. The pockets mean she doesn't forget / lose canteen card, phone, timetable etc. They look smart.

The blazer price was reasonable especially considering it is worn 7 hours a day, and is going to last her all 5 years. She wears a coat on top if rainy / cold.

The other thing to consider is lockers. The children might be more inclined to wear a warm practical coat if they had a locker to put it in rather than carry it about all day.

DS1 has a locker so he has no excuse for the coat refusal though. grin

LondonMother Sun 22-Dec-13 15:42:06

I loathe polo shirt and sweatshirt uniforms on secondary-aged children. Maybe there are better quality ones around, but my view was formed years ago by seeing that type of uniform in a nasty shade of mint green on teenagers at one of our local schools. The sweatshirts clearly weren't keeping either their shape or their original colour after repeated washings and I thought they looked scruffy. The school now has a blazer and tie uniform, as does every single secondary school in Lewisham, as far as I can see, and the students look a million times smarter. My impression is that there are hardly any secondary schools in SE or central London now that don't have a uniform and off the top of my head I can't think of a single one that isn't blazer and tie.

I do think state-funded schools should have a legal obligation to keep the uniform affordable. Insisting on getting it from a single supplier just so it will have a badge or logo already sewn on is very bad from an equal opps point of view.

crochetedblanket Sun 22-Dec-13 15:52:52

At my school they had two types. 1 bought from the school uniform supplier shop that cost £60 and then they sold badges you could sew on to ones bought in a supermarket for £20. They were slightly different shades of blue and those in cheap ones were often picked on. The girls were a different shape.

I hated it as a teenager. 13 year old girls in shoulder pads look ridiculous. They're usually too big as well dueto the price, tthey are bought to 'grow into'.

RRudolphR Sun 22-Dec-13 15:53:01

No Ivy - not a tie.
We don't do ties, just jackets

crochetedblanket Sun 22-Dec-13 15:53:28

I agree with the comment above about the school looking better without focussing on better education!!

NoComet Sun 22-Dec-13 15:55:57

NO! My slight Y8 would look stupid and I'd just find the pockets full of sticky sweet papers.

NigellasDealer Sun 22-Dec-13 15:58:42

*Love the blazers.

Hate the current trend of people bringing their children up to think "the rules don't apply to them*
what do these two opinions have to do with each other ? could you expand?

NoComet Sun 22-Dec-13 15:59:52

As crochet says they are always bought big. Since DD2 still hasn't finished her first growth spurt hers probably wouldn't look sensible until Y9 if ever.

treaclesoda Sun 22-Dec-13 16:00:13

at school we didn't have blazers but the boys did. In later years my old school brought in blazers for girls too, and my younger relatives who now attend love the blazers. They are a wonderful piece of uniform for self conscious teenage girls, as they hide a big bust, and they hide a flat chest. I can't stress enough how much difference it would have made to my confidence as a teenager if I could have worn a blazer instead of a clingy acrylic jumper.

curlew Sun 22-Dec-13 16:01:18

I hate them. But I can't see the point of school uniforms at all.

If I had to design a uniform it would have some sort of jacket because pockets are so useful.

But I think I would go for a hoodie with the school name on it, like the ones a lot of them have for games.

AnitaManeater Sun 22-Dec-13 16:01:23

Blazers are ok as long as they are affordable. My main issue with my sons school is that there is no school jumper to wear underneath in the winter.They are no allowed to take their blazers off either unless the teacher permits it

NearTheWindmill Sun 22-Dec-13 16:02:06

I wouldn't have sent my dc to a school that didn't have a blazer or a proper collar and tie for the boys.

DS had a navy blazer with school crest. DD's is distinctive school colour with banding. Both schools have a business suit policy in 6th form. I nearly cried when I saw DS in a man's suit and good shirt and tie for the first time.

Oblomov Sun 22-Dec-13 16:07:39

Ds1 can't wait to wear one. He said it was the best bit about secondary hmm

ivykaty44 Sun 22-Dec-13 16:12:25

I see men in ties in the working world - but I get the feeling that schools put girls in shirts, ties and blazers as it is easy for them to be the same as the boys - so sort a uniform for the boys and the girl must follow suit ( excuse pun) and that is in part the part to which I object it makes girls seem like an after thought. There is no way it would be conducted the other way around.

Traditions sometimes need to be left behind and finding an alternative uniform (if a uniform must be worn) would be preferable.

I don't wear shirts, I wear blouses, I don't wear ties and never have since school.

I associate uniforms with jobs I have had where the pay has been low, so possibly this has clouded my view of uniforms and badly paid jobs…?

NigellasDealer Sun 22-Dec-13 16:16:11

essentially uniform has nothing to do with education, zilch, zero, nada; but everything to do with making children 'look smart' and conform, and keeping the parents happy....if you want to weep over your son in a suit, do it in your own time!
fgs 'smart business dress' in sixth form? what is that about?

VivaLeBeaver Sun 22-Dec-13 16:16:27

Yes.

When we chose a secondary school for dd we wouldn't really consider the school where the kids wore polo shirts and sweaters. Kids looked as scruffy as hell and I don't think it reflects well on the school.

Funnily enough that school has now changed to a very smart blazer and the headmaster in their school newsletter said he believes the new uniform has reflected positively on behaviour in the classroom.

bigTillyMintspie Sun 22-Dec-13 16:19:57

I'm not really bothered one way or the other. The DC wear them for school. They are the cheap washable fabric type so quite user-friendly. The other comp up the road have polo shirts and jumpers and they are fine too.

ivykaty44 Sun 22-Dec-13 16:20:01

See I would guess a head teacher wouldn't change the uniform to a blazer and then put in a news letter that they believed the new blazer was causing the behaviour of the students to become disruptive

NigellasDealer Sun 22-Dec-13 16:21:18

haha exactly ivykaty, he would say that wouldn't he?

ivykaty44 Sun 22-Dec-13 16:22:08

Incidently I don't believe that a HT would change to polo shirts and sweat tops and put in the school newsletter that it was causing disruptive behaviour in the classroom either smile

SMorgauseBordOfChristmasTat Sun 22-Dec-13 16:22:39

My DSs both went to a non uniform school. At the time they were there it had the best GCSE results in the county. Both did really well and have successful careers as do their classmates.

Time moves on. New head introduces uniform at the behest of the parents. School now in special measures.

The way children are dressed has bugger all to do with learning and education.

DoYouLikeMyBaubles Sun 22-Dec-13 16:23:25

I liked mine. It's handy with all the pockets, and they are comfortable.

ivykaty44 Sun 22-Dec-13 16:24:47

doyoulikemy - do you wear a blazer?

Ds1 school didn't have a blazer just an awful acrylic jumper with the house colour as a band on the v, white shirt and no tie.

Ds2 school has a blazer and tie the jumper is just a

Plain grey I branded one.

Ds2's uniform has fared much better even after only one term ds1's uniform looked scruffy ds2 looks much smarter. It would appear that the school with the blazer is much firmer and has higher expectations than the one without but I can of course only speak from my own experience of the two schools.

tallulah Sun 22-Dec-13 16:31:37

I like blazers. The 3 of mine who had them had machine-washable ones with a sew on school badge.

Our local high school describes their uniform as smart. KS3 have a polo shirt in Homebase green, which suits nobody. KS4 fare better in blue. They all look really scruffy.

finallydelurking Sun 22-Dec-13 16:32:38

My kids have to wear blazers, I hate them. They are vile looking, overpriced and poorly made. Wouldn't remove them from the school over the blazer issue, but if I had a choice of schools and all other things were equal I would choose a school with a less pretentious uniform that didn't use a monopoly supplier. Uniform is not the great equaliser it's claimed to be, there's a massive difference in appearance between the kids who are forced to wear the same set everyday for 5 years (because of the prohibitive costs) and the kids who have a clean set everyday and it's replaced every year.

I like the idea of blazers.

However in reality, even the smallest sized one that our school does swamps my DS.

invicta Sun 22-Dec-13 16:37:04

I think blazers are smart and practical, as dc can put phones, keys, travel passes etc in pockets. A local school used to have sweatshirts and polls - they looked awful. They now have a tie and jumper uniform which looks a lot smarter. Also, teens do not where coats, so a blazer gives a little protection from rain.

EvilTwins Sun 22-Dec-13 16:38:43

I teach in a school which introduced blazers a couple of years ago. Before that, we has polo shirts & sweatshirts - round-necked and totally unisex. Looked hideous on girls once they developed a bust, and the vast majority hated it. Now most girls wear fitted blouses and v-necked knitted jumpers under their blazers, which are shaped differently to the boys' blazers. They all prefer it, and they look a heck of a lot smarter. As a teacher, I always wear a jacket.

As for proper coats - none of them wore them before, and hardly any of them wear them now. Comments to my tutor group along the lines of "if you're cold, why don't you wear a coat?" are usually met with derision and/or disbelief.

NigellasDealer Sun 22-Dec-13 16:46:15

actually some pockets would be good

motherinferior Sun 22-Dec-13 16:50:03

I don't think polyester jackets look 'smart'. Nor is there, afaik, any research whatsoever proving a link between uniform and academic performance. DD1 has a fairly scruffy and nominal uniform. I am far more concerned about the school's teaching than its uniform policies (and am living proof that it is fully possible to break all uniform rules and get top results in any case).

finallydelurking Sun 22-Dec-13 17:02:52

Couldn't agree more motherinferior

TalkinPeace Sun 22-Dec-13 17:17:50

DCs school is blazers and ties

Blazers are now nylon - in the washing machine every half term and dry in two hours on a hanger over the radiator

they have pockets for phones and bus money and pens and god knows what

they are a darned sight smarter than sweatshirts

the lapels end up covered in different badges - some school, some not

they go well with ties - which are used to mark out houses, prefects and the like

and as a blazer lasts a couple of years they work out cheaper than jumpers

bigTillyMintspie Sun 22-Dec-13 17:18:37

Truesay, MIsmile

Well DS1's 'polyester jacket' looks very smart and he doesn't break any rules and is in top sets.

Ooh actually I have no idea if it's Polyester or Nylon now.

TalkinPeace Sun 22-Dec-13 17:25:44

sparkling
ditto - all I know is that they are not wool - which my mother had to put up with four of us coming gome from school smelling of livestock in the winter

the boys' and girls' blazers are very different cut
and the boys wear their shirts loose and not tucked in and the girls wear theirs "fitted"
they can wear jumpers under them if its freezing and loose coats over them if its polar
but the main thing is that they are all wearing basically the same outer garment

having done non uniform 6th form I'm a total fan of uniform

17leftfeet Sun 22-Dec-13 17:28:17

At dd's school they have a smart school jumper with their house colour in a thin stripe round the neck, the school logo and the academy status in the arm

The girls wear an open neck blouse and the boys wear shirt and tie

Skirts are allowed but have to be ankle length so strangely the girls all choose to wear trousers!

They look very smart.

I had to wear a blazer at school and it was terrible -there was a girls and boys version and being very tall, the girls version nipped in at the wrong place and looked stupid.
The boys version was incredibly broad across the shoulders and had different splits in the back and it made me look like a tank
-anything but smart

EvilTwins Sun 22-Dec-13 17:29:57

Ankle length skirts? Really? How bizarre.

homework Sun 22-Dec-13 17:30:43

I like my child school uniform , I think it looks very smart. It save the what am I going to wear each morning , or thing they want to wear not been washed and them then getting annoyed , like teenagers do .
Also most teenagers are in adult size clothes so there not cheap especially when they get into the label stuff. So more stuff would go missing , when changing for pe , how you prove it's yours , whoses going to name tag there teenagers regular clothes . That uniform blazer around 40 pounds , if you could get them to wear coat or even a jumper / hoodie , cost a lot more than that . So I'm another parent who like school uniforms .

Bunbaker Sun 22-Dec-13 17:31:51

I would be interested to know if the school uniform haters have teenage daughters grin. Because having a uniform makes the mornings so much easier.

In fact I don't understand why school uniform brings out such hatred from some people.

DD's school has blazers
Pros: two inside pockets and three outside pockets are invaluable for keeping mobile phone, bus pass, locker key and money safe. They are smart and they give a sense of identity to the student.
Cons: Sizing isn't great. DD's sleeves are too short for her, but the next size up drowns her and the sleeves are still too short.

I am so glad I don't have an anxious DD trying to decide what to wear to school every morning because the uniform rules are non negotiable. Also. buying the uniform is cheaper than trying to keep up with the latest fashion as, apart from the blazer and tie, I can buy everything else wherever I want.

17leftfeet Sun 22-Dec-13 17:35:35

The ankle length skirt rule is to stop them wearing belts and pretending they are skirts but allowing students to have a skirt option to meet cultural/religious requirements

NigellasDealer Sun 22-Dec-13 17:38:10

having a uniform makes the mornings so much easier
bunbaker speaks sense there

although i will tell you why it brings out hatred, because there are certain teachers and in fairness they are in the minority, who actually enjoy shouting at people about their shoes or whatever, I mean they actually get a kick out of it, when really they could/should be teaching.

RandomMess Sun 22-Dec-13 17:44:15

I think it should be provided by the school and impossible to substitute like this one grin

www.christs-hospital.org.uk/home/gallery/

TalkinPeace Sun 22-Dec-13 17:53:44

Randomness
www.hillhouseschool.co.uk/hill-house-uniform/ - those awful breeches right up to year 6
falknerhouse.co.uk/administration/uniform/ - capes and jelly bag hats

blazers are a doddle

RandomMess Sun 22-Dec-13 17:56:51

Nah still prefer CH's grin

HmmAnOxfordComma Sun 22-Dec-13 18:00:21

I'd like to think it wouldn't put me off a school if it had excellent results, good pastoral care etc but had a sweatshirt and polo shirt type uniform, but it probably would.

Sweatshirts are vile. And not all children like dressing scruffily.

VeniseAndMe Sun 22-Dec-13 18:04:28

Not keen on them, esp the price tag going with them.

Would I take that into consideration to chose the school? Of course not! Results, the ability to care for SN or children with particularly good results etc.. are and will always be top of my list.

EvilTwins Sun 22-Dec-13 18:07:02

We have a very famous girls' school in the town I live. My DTDs have already told me they're not going there because of the uniform. Like it was going to happen anyway... wink

Preciousbane Sun 22-Dec-13 18:09:11

I don't like them, though looks like DS school is introducing them from next year.

stressedofstreatham Sun 22-Dec-13 18:09:31

Yes. As long as washable.

Blu Sun 22-Dec-13 18:12:00

DS' school blazer is 100% polyester and they cost £27 with the school logo embroidered on. I hate DS being encased in polyester, but at least the school jumper they can wear underneath is cotton.

I certainly wouldn't want to be forking out for an expensive wool blazer of my own school days.

I do think DS Would never have his cashless card for lunch if he didn't have the inside pocket.

IamInvisible Sun 22-Dec-13 18:13:26

When both of my DSes were at secondary school they wore blazers, shirts and ties. We could source the blazers from John Lewis, M&S or a supermarket and sew the badges on. It was just as well really because in the final 2 years, DS2 went though 4 blazers due to a growth spurt.

The school decided to change that and you can only buy the blazers from them now. They are in the region of £40 each. The girls wear a regulation blouse and no tie, again only available from the school. The boys wear a tie.

Some of them look smart, some of them look like a bag of spanners. It doesn't matter if they have a blazer on if their shoes are scuffed and dirty, their trousers creased and their shirts crumpled.

I know at the DSes old school they weren't allowed to take off their blazers even on really hot days. They aren't, imo, the most comfortable piece of clothing either.

When they go to the sixth form they wear what they like. The lack of pockets hasn't caused them to lose money or phones, not wearing a blazer didn't make DS1's results go down or change his behaviour, and so far we are seeing the same with DS2.

Skogkat Sun 22-Dec-13 18:14:56

Useful for pockets. But way too pricey. If DS goes to our choice secondary school, blazers are optional (thankfully) due to many parents not being able to afford it.

NigellasDealer Sun 22-Dec-13 18:15:54

anyway polo shirts and sweatshirts can be 'smart' or 'scrufffy' it depends who is wearing them and if they are ironed.

PointyChristmasFairyWand Sun 22-Dec-13 18:23:24

I hate blazers.

I hate school uniform.

And if the future of our world depends on teenagers who can't bloody well decide what to wear in the morning, Heaven help us all.

I come from a country that has no school uniform (and does better in the PISA tables, btw) and I never, ever had trouble deciding what to wear in the morning. Because I am not a fashion victim. It is up to parents to raise their children not to be fashion victims, not rely on enforce conformity.

Rant over.

curlew Sun 22-Dec-13 18:27:29

Why do people think children have to be "smart"? Most of Europe don't seem to think it's important.

Also, the head of a very well regarded and high achieving grammar school near us is vehemently anti uniform. He is always trying to persuade parents and governors to let him get rid of it. He thinks it encourages herd mentality and a loss of personal responsibility and is inclined to make behaviour worse rather than better.

He has managed his other goal- to get rid of any bells or beepers during the school day.....

NigellasDealer Sun 22-Dec-13 18:29:50

that is true cerlew and most of Europe outperforms us.
it makes me wonder tho., who actually went into teaching and expected their working day to consist of yelling at people and humiliating them about their attire. sad really.

Lancelottie Sun 22-Dec-13 18:37:17

Well, given that my admittedly odd sons come home from their non-blazer-wearing schools and put on ancient blazers sourced from the charity shop, I guess they'd like one?

My view is warped by having been stuck with the same, unwashable, vast wool blazer from first year to fifth year at secondary, at which point I still hadn't grown into it.

Lancelottie Sun 22-Dec-13 18:37:54

DD is adamant that she's leaving school if they bring one in, so mixed views in this household, clearly.

PointyChristmasFairyWand Sun 22-Dec-13 18:41:51

The whole school uniform thing is just warped. I mean, we stuff them into uniform for anywhere between 11 and 13 years (am allowing for 6th forms without uniforms here) to 'prepare them for the world of work'.

Then we send them to university where they can wear any old thing, because going to university is supposed to improve their career prospects. I mean - where's the actual logic in any of this?confused

We should be preparing them for the world of work of course - as in, 'if you turn up for an interview in surf shorts and sunglasses, expect not to get the job'. (unless it's for a surf instructor, obviously). I mean, how about teaching them to take responsibility for their own actions?

motherinferior Sun 22-Dec-13 18:50:18

They're teenagers. They're not supposed to look 'smart'.

motherinferior Sun 22-Dec-13 18:53:04

My best uniform-defier was to go braless. There was no actual school rule that I was breaking.

Admittedly I didn't get the best O level results in our year but I don't think the boy who narrowly beat me was wearing a bra eithergrin

Hulababy Sun 22-Dec-13 18:53:50

DD goes to an all girls school. She is only in Y7 so wasn't included in the new uniform changes last year. However, the girls school council chose to introduce a blazer to their uniform - was a surprise to the HT when it was mooted and then voted on and won.

I personally am not keen - preferred just the jumper. But now they have a blazer - and yes, a lot of the time DD wears it instead of a coat, not as well as.

motherinferior Sun 22-Dec-13 18:57:10

And I have never worn a blazer to any of my various jobs. I did possess a couple of suits at one point but one was a purply one with narrow trousers and the other was a corally pink with a v short skirt.

usualsuspect Sun 22-Dec-13 18:59:21

No amount of blazers or shirt and ties could ever have made my DS look smart.

A lot of children can manage to wear a tie and blazer and look really scruffy grin

TalkinPeace Sun 22-Dec-13 19:04:04

I never, ever assumed that blazers were to do with 'preparing for the world of work'
the naice gels schools I went to were preparing us for marrying well
not earning a living ourselves

blazers are portable pencil cases and identical coats
no more no less
and in that they are excellent

Hate them.

The fab super best comp here has the kids wear comfy sweat shirts and their own coats.

Maryz Sun 22-Dec-13 19:08:05

ds2 is 15 and wants to wear a blazer.

In his school only 6th form and prefects wear blazers, so it's a sign of seniority and importance.

I want him to wear a blazer too, as we have three inherited from various older kids. In fact, there is also a very active second hand blazer exchange programme so they are cheap and easy to get hold of.

Massive overthinking going on about the meaning of blazers. It's just what they wear to school. confused

hedwig2001 Sun 22-Dec-13 19:13:19

Op please tell me you are not based in Wendover?
My son's school is "looking" at the current uniform of polo shirt and sweatshirt. They are a new academy.
I am dreading a change to an even more expensive uniform!

Bowlersarm Sun 22-Dec-13 19:16:43

Love them.

Look smart.

DC's stay warm.

Pockets to put train/bus passes in and easy to hand.

They should be machine washable though.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sun 22-Dec-13 19:20:45

IMO school uniform and especially the more pointless garments such as blazers are to do with dominance. It is about control. It is a way that schools can dominate both students and parents. There is something very basic about telling a parent what their teenage child is allowed to wear.

TalkinPeace Sun 22-Dec-13 19:21:22

bowlersarm
most modern blazers are definitely chuck in the machine jobs ....
www.skoolkit.co.uk/productDetail.php?categoryUID=A5507e3a00446&productUID=Ac440a440d3b733d7

Really Worry? It's not just a useful jacket with pockets? shock

dollybird Sun 22-Dec-13 19:26:29

my DS's school is blazers with polo t-shirts and an optional jumper. I was always a bit hmm about polo t-shirts with a blazer, but with the jumper too it looks quite smart. Not so much without the jumper as they tend to wear them untucked. And this is the first year we've ever had issues getting either DS (yr7) or DD (yr 6) to wear a coat. Luckily it's not been too cold this year so far..

Schmedz Sun 22-Dec-13 19:42:17

Love blazers. As long as you can machine wash them and they are not ridiculously overpriced. Forces something on those who refuse to wear a cost in the dead of winter so at least they are slightly warmer than they would be, and they look much better than a fleece or plain jumper.
Wish our school had them!

AChickenCalledKorma Sun 22-Dec-13 19:47:11

worry but personally I am delighted that DD's school has told her what to wear. And that they have told her to wear a practical, dark-coloured garment with plenty of pockets, including a zipped one so that she can carry her mobile in a safe place. Can't say I've ever felt remotely dominated or controlled - it just makes it easier to get her out of the house in the morning. And it washes easily.

(And yes, ours have different cuts for boys and girl - worth making sure any supplier does this. Am surprised to hear that some don't).

Maryz Sun 22-Dec-13 19:50:42

[arf] at dominance and control fgrin

I shall tell ds. He may want to wear one even more though.

KingRollo Sun 22-Dec-13 19:55:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PicardyThird Sun 22-Dec-13 19:56:33

I'm with motherinferior et al. I'm not really on board with the universal desirability of 'smart' for children/teenagers. There is something about control in uniform, something about making children reflect the image we want them to.

Over here in Germany there are no school uniforms, for obvious historical reasons, and the classrooms are not anarchic hellholes. Students identify with their schools, and those who leave school and go to work seem entirely capable of appropriate dress. Some aspects of the German system are actually decidedly authoritarian, and not having uniform doesn't influence that. I do think the slogan T-shirts, very short shorts etc I see some teens wearing to school are maybe a step too far, but I don't see the problem with introducing a general dress code to eliminate such excesses.

PicardyThird Sun 22-Dec-13 19:58:11

And I would never, ever describe a blazer as a 'coat', or an acceptable coat substitute. MI had it about right with 'polyester jacket'.

lljkk Sun 22-Dec-13 19:59:27

They help DC be organised, ours are machine washable and cheap enough and partly waterproof, so on balance I am in favour.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sun 22-Dec-13 20:00:20

Sparkling, no it's not useful. It is made of polyester. Absorbs water like a sponge then holds onto it like a plastic bag.

I'm not against uniforms if they have a purpose. My DS is in Army Cadets. His uniform for that is incredibly practical. Even after being lived in out in the field for a week it still manages to look smart.

School uniform and particularly blazers can barely stand up to a week's worth of lessons without looking like washed out dishrags.

A big difference is that DS is in Army Cadets by choice. We dont have a choice about schools (there is only one) and home ed is not an option.

Bowlersarm Sun 22-Dec-13 20:03:36

I'm slightly puzzled by blazers being a sign of dominance and control over parents and pupils.

In that case, I definitely like a bit of domination.

LynetteScavo Sun 22-Dec-13 20:04:14

I don't mind a blazer.....there is a secondary school I know of where the DC wear polo shirts and sweatshirts, and look like ginormous primary school kids.

Blazers make coats difficult, it seems...or am I missing something?

The only school near hear which has official school coats doesn't have blazers.

Rosencrantz Sun 22-Dec-13 20:04:53

I loved mine at school. Being a girl in a tie wasn't great though.

Oakmaiden Sun 22-Dec-13 20:07:44

The first school my daughter went to had a school cloak - which, in fairness was worn over the blazer....

Whilst my son's current school (and most of the schools in this area, actually) has a "school hoodie" which I am decidedly "meh" about...

sadsqueaker Sun 22-Dec-13 20:19:36

Oakmaiden, are you Hermione Grainger's mum? grin
I'm not looking forward to the polyester blazer years.

Oakmaiden Sun 22-Dec-13 20:21:54

Nope - although dd would like to be Hermione Granger!

The teachers hated the cloaks- - they were stupid things. The children (and they were worn from Kindergarten through to Y6) would run around in the playground with their arms tucked inside their cloaks, and when they fell (as they inevitably did) they couldn't get their arms out to protect themselves. Dd thought she was the bees knees in it though (and she did look very cute).

Kelly1814 Sun 22-Dec-13 20:24:18

I used to wear one and would love my DD to.

BananaNotPeelingWell Sun 22-Dec-13 20:36:39

Love my dc's uniforms: Blazers and ties. Smart and easy to wash. I wouldnt change them at all.

BananaNotPeelingWell Sun 22-Dec-13 20:39:12

Coat fits over the top no problem. Well I say no problem, dd 1 (15) can hardly be persuaded to wear a coat but that's not the school or uniforms fault.

Bunbaker Sun 22-Dec-13 20:41:37

PointyChristmasFairyWand Do you have a teenage daughter?

curlew Sun 22-Dec-13 20:44:40

Please tell me why they have to "look smart"?

MrsJamin Sun 22-Dec-13 20:51:06

Well that's as clear as mud! One thing I have a thing about is girls dressed in clothes looking like they are intended for boys. I really hated a tie- when do women ever have to wear ties?! It makes it look like education is predominantly for boys and we will stipulate that girls have to wear as close to what suits boys as possible. It does seem as though if we do have a blazer, it should be available from several different suppliers, keep costs down and make sure it's washable. I have heard of a wave of blazering going through towns before- sounds like they are doing it for mythical reasons rather than absolute ones?

PointyChristmasFairyWand Sun 22-Dec-13 20:51:24

bunbaker yes, I do. She has to wear a blazer because her school demands it of her. I have chosen to live in the UK so I abide by the rules. Doesn't mean I have to like it though.

She would far rather wear a polo shirt and sweatshirt, or no uniform at all.
And she most certainly does not take ages to get herself dressed on weekends and holidays. Neither did I, when I was her age. She just decides the night before what she is going to wear and lays it out - this is called common sense, and teenagers are actually capable of it.

Bunbaker Sun 22-Dec-13 20:51:30

In DD's case it is because her headteacher has a "thing" about it. That said, people in the local area who have nothing to do with the school have been very positive about the way the pupils look. Previously the school did have a poor image so the new uniform has been good PR for the school.

The head teacher isn't making uniform a priority though. The school has improved in leaps and bounds since DD started there. They had the best ever GCSE results this year and have moved up from satisfactory to good and aim to be outstanding by the next ofsted visit.

I think the uniform thing is more about teaching the pupils that most places of work have dress codes that have to be observed and it is never too early to learn.

PointyChristmasFairyWand Sun 22-Dec-13 20:53:40

MrsJamin the alternatives to ties for girls are unbelievably hideous though... We have a Free School in the next town which has the boys wear ties, the girls have to wear an utterly foul scarf. They look like cabin crew on a particularly naff airline, I feel for them.

I actually would not have a problem with dress codes to avoid the worst excesses of sexualised clothing, but the fetish for school uniform in the UK still leaves me bemused.

KrabbyPatty Sun 22-Dec-13 20:53:44

I love my ds' blazers. They cost less than £30 and look really smart.

Bunbaker Sun 22-Dec-13 20:54:22

Pointy I don't think your daughter is typical of most teenage girls. I can ask/tell/demand that DD gets organised until I am blue in the face but it does not work. She takes after her father.

finallydelurking Sun 22-Dec-13 20:55:30

bunbaker I have teenager daughters and I HATE uniforms! It would be cheaper to kit them out with Hollister than the extortionate polyester I'm forced to buy from their school

PointyChristmasFairyWand Sun 22-Dec-13 20:56:56

I think the uniform thing is more about teaching the pupils that most places of work have dress codes that have to be observed and it is never too early to learn

Bunbaker that is just a daft argument, I'm afraid. Hordes of teenagers in countries without school uniform seem to manage this transition just fine. Are children in the UK so dim that they need to start learning it at age 5? I think that's doing our young people down.

Bunbaker Sun 22-Dec-13 20:58:47

"but the fetish for school uniform in the UK still leaves me bemused."

I think you underestimate British teenage peer pressure, and pressure from the media with regard to appearance. School uniform makes life so much easier.

Surely you must notice how many young teenage girls want to look (for want of a better phrase) trampy (DD's friends' term, not mine)

PointyChristmasFairyWand Sun 22-Dec-13 20:59:57

Well, if my DD ever decides to get disorganised, then she will be facing the consequences of being disorganised and I won't be bailing her out. Tough love here, I'm afraid.

I don't know about typical teenage girls though, the lot my DD hangs out with are probably not typical at all - they're a self-selected little group of oddballs, they're all very academic and very sporty and remarkably confident about not fitting in. There are about 10 of them and they all support each other. I know DD has been very lucky to end up in a peer group like hers.

Bunbaker Sun 22-Dec-13 21:00:55

"bunbaker I have teenager daughters and I HATE uniforms! It would be cheaper to kit them out with Hollister than the extortionate polyester I'm forced to buy from their school"

DD's blazer costs £30, £20 cheaper than a Hollister hoodie. I can buy black skirts and white shirts from anywhere. So for me uniform is cheaper.

PointyChristmasFairyWand Sun 22-Dec-13 21:08:25

Bunbaker I don't actually see the difference between how British teens dress when they're off duty and how Dutch teens dress (this is my nearest basis for comparison as I am there most often). We had an exchange with a German school in September - a very naice, middle class and affluent German school, whereas DD's school has a much more mixed catchment. You honestly couldn't tell the German girls from the British girls by the way they dressed. Yes, it can be a bit trampy and I don't like it much, but teenage rebelliousness is just a part of life. I think the Brits need to lighten up about matters of appearance.

finallydelurking Sun 22-Dec-13 21:13:00

If I could buy tops and shirts from anywhere in the assigned colour I'd be happier. It's the having to buy more expensive, worse quality than my kids would choose for themselves that gets me. That and minority of teachers who are obsessed with non-existent infringements. They're there to teach my kids not satisfy their need fo

finallydelurking Sun 22-Dec-13 21:14:46

I'm UK born and bred, but agree with pointy the uniform fetish in this country is nothing short of bizarre

heronsfly Sun 22-Dec-13 21:16:19

My dcs have all worn shirts ties and blazers, I like the blazers, never buy the school ones though, always Tesco or Asda and sew badge on.

PointyChristmasFairyWand Sun 22-Dec-13 21:16:52

Yes, finally my biggest resentment is against the cartels in school uniform which have been allowed to develop. Don't tell me schools don't get kickbacks from selling their overpriced polyester ill-fitting crap. DD1's current uniform is almost bearable - very little compulsory logo'd stuff, it's affordable and washes well. Her previous school was much worse.

We're supposed to have a free market economy in the UK, so why are schools and uniform manufacturers allowed to get away with this?

Utterly Sun 22-Dec-13 21:17:17

I like them. I know of one school that makes children wear them all the time though - even in the height of summer and I don't agree with that.

ivykaty44 Sun 22-Dec-13 21:38:13

the above school introduced school uniform to year 7 in 2004 So by 2009 the years 7-11 all where wearing school uniform and had been since year 7 from back in 2004 when they started.

results are here fro the same school trinity in 2004

MissScatterbrain Sun 22-Dec-13 21:49:12

Where else can they store their bus pass, dinner card, pens, mobile, and money safely?

Teens around here will not wear coats either. I recently heard about a school who tried to introduce coats instead of blazers and pupils rebelled resulting in the staff backing down and doing a u turn.

curlew Sun 22-Dec-13 21:51:52

And that was all because of uniform, ivykaty? hmm

Blu Sun 22-Dec-13 21:52:47

I can't see that a thin layer of polyester adds any warmth.
Except when all sweaty in summer, of course.

It's funny, this not wearing a coat - round here (S London) they all wear thick puffa jackets, hats, gloves, scarves, the lot! from Sept - May.

ivykaty44 Sun 22-Dec-13 21:53:13

bus pass - in school bag
dinner card - in school bag
pens - in school bag
mobile in coat pocket
money - no money in school as they have cashless system, so no cheques either as every payment is made online

Blu Sun 22-Dec-13 21:55:22

Is causation and correlation part of the curriculum at that school, Ivykaty?

ivykaty44 Sun 22-Dec-13 21:55:59

I have no idea if the results went down so much due to the school uniform - but it sort of blows away the argument that they introduced the school uniform to make the results better - as that certainly didn't happen for three years of wearing uniform all through school. Then suddenly the last two years the results are bak to what they were in 2004

Blu Sun 22-Dec-13 21:57:38

Oh, I see - you are saying that the uniform made no difference?

ivykaty44 Sun 22-Dec-13 22:02:11

Blu - I have no idea if the uniform effected the results - but looking at the results they were far worse with students wearing uniform than before 2004 without any uniform.

TalkinPeace Sun 22-Dec-13 22:13:51

Spanish school uniforms look like pjyamas
Greek school uniforms are lovely
Caribbean school uniforms are impeccably smart
American lack of school uniform at High school enhances the tribal nature of the places
Private schools in the USA (12% of pupils) often have school uniforms
Japanese, Korean, Indian, Chinese schools all wear uniforms

ivykaty44 Sun 22-Dec-13 22:25:26

Indian children don't have to go to school though and thousands don't go to school in India - which is fortunate as there are not the school places for all the children of school age in india.

ravenAK Sun 22-Dec-13 22:45:04

I'm largely neutral on uniform (ugly, looks cheap but is a rip off, but I agree it saves on faffing time) - but can we have a bit less of the fallacy that teaching staff introduce, or choose to enforce, or indeed give a rat's arse about, uniform?

Generally speaking, we have no part in the decision making process & only nag the kids about it because we are required to do so.

curlew Sun 22-Dec-13 22:50:05

Tell me again why children need to be "smart"?

Particularly when "smart" appears to mean looking like somebody behind the counter of a building society?

ivykaty44 Mon 23-Dec-13 09:24:34

curlew - children don't need to be smart and they don't need to be in uniform to learn and get decent results when they finish school. I put up the results of the school as I thought it was interesting that the school introduced a uniform and effectively made there students "smart" then when those first "smart" year 7 students took their GCSE's 5 years later the exam results they produced were very much lower than the results of the year 11's that had not worn uniform 5 years previously.

theladyrainy Mon 23-Dec-13 09:28:18

Blazers are just not practical at all for children travelling to and from school. Waterproof coats and fleeces would be much better.

tiggytape Mon 23-Dec-13 10:12:21

Blazers are just not practical at all for children travelling to and from school. Waterproof coats and fleeces would be much better.

Except they won't wear them. Teenagers and coats just don't seem to mix!
We live in London though so maybe children in colder areas are more sensible? I have a child at primary too so get to see children from numerous secondary schools on the way to and from the school run and none of them (blazer-ed or non blazer-ed schools) wear coats.

Personally, I really like blazers as they offer an extra layer of warmth in the winter for a boy who would otherwise be in just a shirt and jumper. It means phones and money and travel pass can be carried on his person not left in a bag where it is more prone to being lost or taken.

Many of the 6th forms near us have uniforms with blazers for 6th formers too. Personally I don't like that as part of the joy of being an A Level student is the freedom to wear what you want but I think up to Year 11 blazers are fine.

Theas18 Mon 23-Dec-13 10:19:59

Blazers .... meh! not bothered either way.

DS always has had one. Cheapy (£21?) M+S with badge sewn on. EAsy wash and wear- no picking oin boys for having/not having the embroidered one. Even at 6foot 2 he has an " age 16" boys size! Even DS managed 2+ terms out of each blazer.

DD didn't have a blazer and didn't " have " to have one as they were introduced after she started but she wanted one this year. Hers is shop embroidered ( no choice) and ladies sized so £32. BUT it's doing well and will see her though years 10 and 11.

THe kids like them. pockets are good.

Theas18 Mon 23-Dec-13 10:20:43

And uniform in 6th form is a dream!

hellsbells99 Mon 23-Dec-13 10:28:16

Both my DDs (15&16) wear coats to school - 1 Topshop, 1 Next (their choice). All of their friends wear coats to school. It would be difficult to wear a coat over a blazer (without buying a bigger size and then no good for outside school.
I have to wear a jacket for work. 1 company I worked at used to keep the air conditioning cold so we never took our jackets off. This is not comfortable work gear.
DD2 wears uniform which includes a V-necked navy sweatshirt with school badge on (and shirt & tie) - have to be purchased through school but at a reasonable cost. She looks smart enough and more importantly comfortable.
DD1 now 6th form so no uniform.
School results are good for a non selective inclusive state school - "98% of all students achieved 8 or more GCSEs and of these, 78% achieved 5 A*-C including Maths and English".
I hate blazers on school children.

wordfactory Mon 23-Dec-13 10:32:21

Not keen on 'em tbh.

They're really expensive, constantly minging (because they have to be dry cleaned), not warnm enough in winter, too warm in Summer.

Uniform gives teenagers something safe to rebel against. Also solves the 'what to wear today' dilemma. BUT the post about girls v. boys dress was interesting - I hadn't thought of that before but yes, blazer and tie is definitely a default male form of dress. Can't think of any adult female roles where you have to wear them. How strange that we force teenage girls into male clothes yet some schools are insistent that they wear skirts not trousers.

I discovered recently I'd forgotten how to do a windsor knot. As ds was almost on his way out of the door to a carol concert. Really awkward, in a hurry, to remember something I hadn't attempted since 1980! Took me four or five goes to get it right.

(No ties at ds's primary nor at my secondary... but a few members of his school choir were recruited to sing at the local Rotary carol concert, and were asked to wear ties.)

tiggytape Mon 23-Dec-13 10:51:46

constantly minging (because they have to be dry cleaned)

Many blazers are machine washable now. They're not like the wool ones we had that took on a more matted appearance as time went by.

Audilover Mon 23-Dec-13 10:53:21

The upper secondary my DC attend has blazer, jumper and tie. It also has the best exam results out of the state schools in our county although the two aren't neccessarily linked.
Both of my DC who have attended the school have loved wearing blazers. There are girl and boy blazers apparently which I didn't realise as it's only been my girls at the school so far.
The two main reasons my girls like/liked them are the amount of pockets and that they are loose fitting.

NoComet Mon 23-Dec-13 11:36:17

Teens would have pockets if they were allowed to wear hoodies, jeans and trainers, Which is what they would all default to within a month.

curlew Mon 23-Dec-13 11:42:56

I hate the "default male dress" as well. I am so glad my dd has never had to wear a tie.

School hoodie. Problem solved. Interestingly, at my dd's school they have a hoodie as part of the pe kit, and the 6th formers, who don't have uniform, wear them all the time.

senua Mon 23-Dec-13 11:53:32

I like blazers because they look smart. Pullovers or, even worse, sweatshirts (what are they thinking - that's sports gear!) never look smart, and even more so after a few washes. However, please specify blazers that are (a) washable and therefore (b) cheap.

ivykaty44 Mon 23-Dec-13 12:23:56

my dd1 wore a blazer to school and she always looked a mess tie never on properly and shirt sleeves rolled up - the blazer took a battering and was awful.

dd2 always looks presentable - she wears a sweat top and polo shirt though and they wash well and when i have waited for her out of school sometimes the students coming out always look presentable in this type of uniform.

Whereas when I had to collect dd1 from school on occasions the students coming out where a complete mess - ties shirts and blazers were a mess and very untidy also with bulging packets if they were not ripped.

I didn't seem to make any difference though that dd1 was untidy or a mess as her results were good.

dd1 has never worn a shirt and tie since in her work roles so it didn't prepare her in anyway for work clothing and she is in a management role.

Not having to purchase a blazer for dd2 was also a saving and she wears her coat to school and at the weekends - dd1 never wore a coat as it wouldn't go over her blazer, which meant she was cold walking to school.

senua - why do people have to look smart?

curlew Mon 23-Dec-13 12:27:19

Senua- why do you want teenagers to look smart?

motherinferior Mon 23-Dec-13 12:31:34

Do you really think they look nice?

I can conceive, theoretically, of an attractive uniform - probably sharp black tailoring, short skirts or killer trousers - but that, frankly, is not what any school I've ever seen provides.

Incidentally LondonMum is wrong upthread - my daughter's Lewisham comp has avoided the blazer horror, concentrating more on building up its excellent academic results insteadgrin

wordfactory Mon 23-Dec-13 13:05:11

I'm more than happy for DC to wear uniform, but blazers are a pain.

Both mine have worn them since reception. Those bloody great wool/felt things.

It does look very smart when they're all at a carol service or founders day etc. But most days they look scruffy, dirty and ill-fitting (half the kids looking like they're wearing their Dad's clothes, the ohter half in balero jackets.

PointyChristmasFairyWand Mon 23-Dec-13 13:22:39

curlew yours is such a good question. I don't give a damn whether my children look smart. What matters is how hard they work, how well they learn and behave at school and how they develop into good people. None of that is influenced by what they wear, it is all about good teaching, good pastoral support and good parental support. Take away any or all of those things and no 'smart' uniform can change the fact that outcomes will plummet.

TalkinPeace Mon 23-Dec-13 14:11:50

Uniforms are not about smart
Uniforms are about belonging to the tribe
its part of creating a mindset of cooperating - they have the same blazer as I do so I should help not hinder them

the same applies to ex Harrow boys in their identical blue shirts and pale trousers
or old Etonians with their botoxed upper lips
or football fans wearing the team colours

large groups of people with little in common are easier to manage if you have a means of inducing peer pressure

curlew Mon 23-Dec-13 14:19:25

Just reposting this because I think takin might be interested-

"Why do people think children have to be "smart"? Most of Europe don't seem to think it's important.

Also, the head of a very well regarded and high achieving grammar school near us is vehemently anti uniform. He is always trying to persuade parents and governors to let him get rid of it. He thinks it encourages herd mentality and a loss of personal responsibility and is inclined to make behaviour worse rather than better.

He has managed his other goal- to get rid of any bells or beepers during the school day....."

TalkinPeace Mon 23-Dec-13 14:48:39

curlew
But a grammar school head has that luxury, because he has already filtered out many of the most problematic pupils. grin

PointyChristmasFairyWand Mon 23-Dec-13 15:03:01

Talkin how on earth do schools in countries without uniform manage to create a 'tribe' then? Because they do. Are British children so much more feral? I don't think so.

LondonMother Mon 23-Dec-13 15:22:03

MI, I thought after I posted that that your daughter's school (if I've made the right assumption) is probably the exception! I think their uniform looks fine and it's a plus that it isn't a copy of a boy's uniform. My daughter's old school (which you will recognise, I'm sure, from this description) has a uniform with shirt and tie for the winter (open-necked shirt for the summer) but the blazer is optional and very few of them wear it, as far as I can see. Far more wear the school fleece, which is more practical and looks OK.

TalkinPeace Mon 23-Dec-13 15:25:06

which countries (other than Western Europe and state schools in the USA) do not generally have school Uniform?

it also comes down to the national psyche of a country - no two are quite the same

ChristmasStrumpet Mon 23-Dec-13 15:27:24

Both my DC have a blazer and go to different schools. I prefer the wool blazer as it actually serves a purpose of keeping DC warm as well as being a mobile pencil case. It looks smarter than my other DC Blazer which is not wool - Polyester I think. The wool one is more durable. I sponge clean it as and when needed and get it fry cleaned at the end of every term (if I remember).

Some how the wool one never seems to get as dirty and smelly as the thin one my other DC wears.

ChristmasStrumpet Mon 23-Dec-13 15:29:33

Also the wool blazers are very expensive but because they are more durable and last longer and stay looking good for longer there is a brilliant second hand maarket for them at the school uniform shop.

New they start at £60 something for the smallest and over £100 for the largest which is pretty hard to swallow but DC currently is wearing one that looks like new but cost me £15 in the secondhand shop.

TalkinPeace Mon 23-Dec-13 15:35:11
Marmitelover55 Mon 23-Dec-13 15:47:20

I used to love my wool blazer when I was at school, although I only remember it being a summer thing.

My DD1 is in year 7 and wears a blazer and I think she looks very smart. I agree about the useful pockets. I'm glad she has moved on from the sweatshirt/polo shirt combo that she wore at primary school.

She is at a high performing comp, but some of the less good schools here also have blazers too.

WorrySighWorrySigh Mon 23-Dec-13 16:09:24

Sutton trust:

SMALLER CLASSES, UNIFORMS, AND PRIMARY HOMEWORK AMONG THE LEAST EFFECTIVE WAYS OF BOOSTING SCHOOL PERFORMANCE

It makes interesting reading. All those received myths of education which have no basis in fact.

Every letter home to parents whinging on about little Jimmy not wearing his tie is a distraction from the useful activity of giving feedback to students.

Lancelottie Mon 23-Dec-13 16:40:25

Windsor know, Edam? I see your Windsor knot and raise you DS's request (with five minutes to go) for me to tie his bow tie for the school concert.

Yup, that's the school without a blazer -- they have DJs and tie-it-yerself bow ties for the Christmas concert.

Lancelottie Mon 23-Dec-13 16:40:51

Ahem. That would be a Windsor knot.

Bow tie? Blimey, I got off easily!

(Did you google?)

Lancelottie Mon 23-Dec-13 16:45:51

I have never in my life tied a bow tie before, but I drew on years of parcel wrapping and hoped for the best.

DS appears to have been suitably wrapped for the event as I didn't hear any complaints.

grin

Taz1212 Mon 23-Dec-13 17:25:24

Oh I'm a real sucker for DS' uniform and yes, I do think he looks so smart in his blazer. grin He actually really likes it as well and doesn't mind wearing his tie every day. He's got his selection of pins for his various school activities on the lapel and he's really quite proud of his uniform. When he was in a polo top/trousers uniform he never took much care in his appearance. With the blazer/tie combination he's always checking his tie is straight, his hair is combed and shoes polished etc.

curlew Mon 23-Dec-13 17:27:59

Nobody has yet told me why they think teenagers ought to be smart.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 23-Dec-13 17:39:08

curlew I expect that a lot of people feel like me, that they themselves feel more professional, more like getting down to work, more as if they've made an effort, once they've thought about what to wear and feel that they look fairly smart. I can't work at home in jamas, for example, and I personally do feel more in a work frame of mind when dressed reasonably neatly and yes, smartly.

What I think is the problem is that of course, that's not how it is for everyone, and some people are perfectly capable of being professional, efficient and productive in a onesie: but those who recognise the feeling of dressed smartly = made an effort = in the appropriate frame of mind to work, do feel that there is something to be said for children putting on smartish 'work clothes' before heading to school.

Not to say that is right, but I think that's the set of assumptions underlying here.

Marmitelover55 Mon 23-Dec-13 17:40:16

Maybe there is a link between good discipline and being smart? There is certainly very good discipline at DD1's school and a very smart uniform.

I'm sure lots of people will say there is good discipline at their child's school without the smart uniform though...

ivykaty44 Mon 23-Dec-13 17:46:30

talkinginpeacecan you explain why wearing a uniform creates a group of people that co-operate? Where is the evidence for this?Why would children without uniform not co-operate and does this effect education in countries without uniform?

ivykaty44 Mon 23-Dec-13 17:49:45

marmite - countries without uniform - do they have a struggle with dsicipline? If you take finland where the school results are excellent and out preform most of the rest of the world - they don't wear uniform and don't have a discipline problem

NoComet Mon 23-Dec-13 17:54:22

Putting in a skirt on a frosty Welsh morning, put me in bad mood and reminded me out new HT was an utter twat.

TalkinPeace Mon 23-Dec-13 18:18:39

ivykaty
if you look at the wikipedia page I linked to, the reasons why countries like Italy, Germany, Spain do not have uniform are reactions against political situations in the mid 20th Century.

ivykaty44 Mon 23-Dec-13 18:37:37

so talking - are you saying that the reaction of the political situations in these countries was to get rid of the uniform in schools to prevent the co-operation of school children? Can you elaborate with your explanation please?

RRudolphR Mon 23-Dec-13 18:40:28

Let's ask Mr Drew ......

TalkinPeace Mon 23-Dec-13 19:01:19

ivy
did you read what it said in the link?

WorrySighWorrySigh Mon 23-Dec-13 19:07:53

So far as I am aware there is no evidence that school uniform has any long-term effect on educational outcomes. There are lots of anecdotes but that is all.

Schools use a change of uniform to indicate regime change. Without any fundamental improvements in the school it will revert to whatever it was before - good, bad or mediocre within a very short time.

The recent fashion for blazers is only a harking back to some non-existent golden age of education.

ivykaty44 Mon 23-Dec-13 19:12:26

Yes talking - but these countries have got rid of the uniform as it has connotations of fascist regime,

I understand your evidence for the uniform helping to create this fascist rule, but this was along with other measures it wasn't just the uniform alone.

where is the evidence that not wearing a uniform has the opposite effect?

magichamster Mon 23-Dec-13 19:16:22

Ds has a blazer. He really likes it and so do I. The blazers are bought at the local independent school wear shop for about £30 and there are a boys and girls style (the girls version is a really flattering cut).

You can also buy the badges for about £4 and there is also a thriving second hand stall at school.

They wear them from yr 7-10, and most children only have one blazer - the sweat shirts he wore at primary were £10 each and he would go though more than 3 jumpers in 4 years so for me it's a saving.

soul2000 Mon 23-Dec-13 19:24:50

Girls should wear Blazers skirts Hats all the way including 6th form. Boys should wear ties as well as hats and blazers.

The secondary modern schools and none grammar schools can let their pupils were Hoodies, Ripped Jeans ,Trainers and tracksuit pants. The girls can wear "Pajamas and be caked in Fake tan. This way we would see who would want School Uniforms and standards and those who think kids don't need rules or standards.

MostWicked Mon 23-Dec-13 19:59:00

I love them.
Comfortable, good quality. Under £30 and usually get 1-2 years out of each one. Loads of pockets so keys, phone, money & other important stuff doesn't get lost. They look smart too.

PointyChristmasFairyWand Mon 23-Dec-13 20:03:47

^Girls should wear Blazers skirts Hats all the way including 6th form. Boys should wear ties as well as hats and blazers.

The secondary modern schools and none grammar schools can let their pupils were Hoodies, Ripped Jeans ,Trainers and tracksuit pants. The girls can wear "Pajamas and be caked in Fake tan. This way we would see who would want School Uniforms and standards and those who think kids don't need rules or standards.^

Right. Because of course all children who go to comprehensives want to run around dressed like slobs. And they don't have 'standards' anywhere else in Europe, oh nooooo of course they don't. hmm

Forcing girls to wear only skirts will cause all kinds of legal problems with gender discrimination, by the way. And rightly so - we live in the 21st century.

PointyChristmasFairyWand Mon 23-Dec-13 20:04:05

Aaaaargh italics fail...

teacherwith2kids Mon 23-Dec-13 20:13:19

I am entirely neutral about them. As long as a school uniform is cheap enough to be accessible to all (and not form a barrier for any child entering any school), reasonably practical and not actively desgned to be hideous, I don't care about its precise details. It's a bit like sports kit - I don't care whether the school has hoodies or rugby shirts or football shirts as its main PE uniform, as long as all are suitable for the task in hand, are durable and can be bought cheaply .

I have a work 'uniform' (in that I have a small number of outfits that I wear for work, distinct from those I wear outside work). So does my OH (in the same sense), and DD and DS have them too in the form of school uniform. All save the problem of choice at 7 am, all are practical, cheap, comfortable and appropriate to the task in hand.

DS and DD like the fact the uniform changes between primary and secondary, then again between year 11 and the sixth form - they like that feeling of transition, of 'moving through the stages'). As it happens, the secondary has a blazer until GCSEs, whereas the primary doesn't. If it didn't, I wouldn't mind.

motherinferior Mon 23-Dec-13 20:23:34

I am still utterly bemused by the idea of a polyester jacket with a badge and pockets looking 'smart'. Or perhaps it's just the whole concept of 'smart'. Which seems to bypass any idea of proper fit, style, decent cut, nice fabric...give me a pair of classic jeans and a T-shirt any day, as far as basic function and elegance are concerned.

WorrySighWorrySigh Mon 23-Dec-13 20:24:27

I have yet to find the task for which a polyester blazer is practical, cheap, comfortable and appropriate

Perhaps Commodore of a particularly down-at-heel yacht club?

motherinferior Mon 23-Dec-13 20:27:22

Or a strippagram?

PointyChristmasFairyWand Mon 23-Dec-13 20:28:41

grin

<Visualises episodes of Midsomer Murders>

motherinferior Mon 23-Dec-13 20:32:15

Tell me uniform is practical, easy and less stressful if you must. But don't tell me it looks nice.

A report I edited was on this morning's Today programme btw. I did every single word of it in jeans. Just saying...

WorrySighWorrySigh Mon 23-Dec-13 20:34:37

Or a strippagram?

Wouldnt it chafe?

Anyway what ghastly fantasy would be addressed by a strippagram in a polyester blazer?

motherinferior Mon 23-Dec-13 20:36:40

You'd start off being either Strict Policewoman or Norty Schoolgirl, presumably...

Disclaimer: I have never worked as a strippagram.

PointyChristmasFairyWand Mon 23-Dec-13 20:38:22

I just find the assumption that UK children will be unable to behave or learn unless they are kitted out like identikit drones bewildering. And pretty offensive too. You are not that culturally different from the rest of Europe.

ArgumentsatChristmas Mon 23-Dec-13 20:40:49

I wouldn't be happy without a school uniform that did not include a blazer. It gets them used to the idea of the world of work - which does not encompass the wearing of nice jeans and a nice t-shirt for most people. Also it stops all the competitive shit. And having teenagers has made me realise that there is a serious amount of competitive shit.

motherinferior Mon 23-Dec-13 20:43:20

Please name three examples of jobs - yacht clubs and strippagrams excluded - which require polyester jackets with badges on them.

motherinferior Mon 23-Dec-13 20:44:52

And explain why wearing this garment is so traumatic that it needs to be done from the age of 11 in order to make it possible at 18.

fairisleknitter Mon 23-Dec-13 20:47:47

I don't mind uniform if it is actually enforced but I think blazers as an item are impractical.

WorrySighWorrySigh Mon 23-Dec-13 20:48:20

But Arguments why does it take 11 years of education to get used to the idea of wearing what you are told to wear for work? Children do seem to be able to learn to do other stuff (like complex maths) an awful lot quicker.

I have teenagers and all are learning to manage their clothing on a budget. I would far rather teach my kids how to dress well for less than how to dress badly in school uniform.

motherinferior Mon 23-Dec-13 20:50:03

And as others have pointed out, if you go to university you'll spend several years in jeans in any case before entering any sort of formal environment.

motherinferior Mon 23-Dec-13 20:52:09

I would not be happy with a school that didn't offer the options of triple science and at least two languages at GSCE. The clothing in which my child is encased is entirely immaterial.

PointyChristmasFairyWand Mon 23-Dec-13 20:53:24

Oh not the 'preparing for the world of work' argument again! <rolls eyes> I say again - hordes of young people all over the world seem to be able to learn quite easily that in order to get and keep a job, you need to dress appropriately. They do this without having worn uniform for 11+ years. Are British children really that thick? Do people really think that? Because I don't.

WorrySighWorrySigh Mon 23-Dec-13 20:57:42

Please name three examples of jobs - yacht clubs and strippagrams excluded - which require polyester jackets with badges on them.

- front of house greeter (bank, hotel etc)
- junior retail manager
- errrrrr..........

TalkinPeace Mon 23-Dec-13 21:00:41

"the world of work" is just bilge in this day and age.
I've earned more than the average weekly wage today - in jeans, a thermal top, fluffy slippers and an old fleece
I do wear a suit some days, but generally not a blazer with a crest fgrin

BUT
I do support school uniforms for teenagers because they simplify dress codes in the midst of the hormonal years
and blazers (esp modern washable ones) are excellent mobile pencil cases / wallets / tat storage

ArgumentsatChristmas Mon 23-Dec-13 21:07:46

There are an awful lot of jobs for which there is either a uniform or a dress code. As you get more senior, clearly that dress code does not involve an ill-fitting polyester blazer. Almost all jobs involve this. Very few do not. Why is it a problem to think that uniform is not a bad strategy to accommodate us to Things We Do Not Want To Do But Have To.

Plus it's cheaper. I dread to think how much I would have to spend at Holister/Jack Wills/Ted Baker to keep up with the Joneses.

ArgumentsatChristmas Mon 23-Dec-13 21:11:10

I have earned 6x the average weekly wage this week and it involved wearing a fairly unbecoming black suit. So I think that point is moot. I would have earned half the average weekly wage wearing one of McDonalds fetching brown uniforms (with antlers this week?) so having to wear fairly gruesome things stretches across the wages spectrum. It's all over everyones workplace.

Taz1212 Mon 23-Dec-13 21:11:58

I don't think they make the slightest bit of difference in terms of class discipline, academic achievement, ease of entry into the world of work dress or whatever. I don't there is any particular benefit to the children themselves to looking smart at school but it makes me happy to see row upon row of blazered <made up word> youths all singing together at their Christmas church service <moved me to tears it did, I am that sort of sap grin > or all the smartly dressed children pouring out of school at the end of the day. They just look so grown up and yes, it is for me and I am a sucker for it.

In all seriousness, I far prefer a uniform of any sort over no uniform. Having grown up in a country where school uniforms are in a tiny minority of schools, IME the peer pressure to have the "right" clothes can be horrendous. I know people will post to say that it wouldn't bother their child or that children will find something else to pick on - non uniform doesn't stop teasing etc, but it is worse and a uniform removes that layer of stress of conformity by providing the conformity.

ivykaty44 Mon 23-Dec-13 21:21:05

I don't wear a uniform to work and no one at my work place wears a uniform, there isn't a dress code either.

My last job had a uniform but it was left up to us whether we wore it or not - I wore half of it as I liked half of the uniform but not the other half.

I have had a mixture of jobs with and without and my performs has not been altered or my attitude to work has not been different in any type of clothing

FinnTheHuman Mon 23-Dec-13 21:22:01

First term and all the pockets in the polyester blazer are shredded inside.

There is actually a zip along the bottom edge of it so you can fish out all the stuff that has fallen through into the lining.

My son likes his blazer, but I don't particularly like seeing him in it. It looks awkward and itchy, and he hates tucking in his shirt. He does it, but I cannot imagine trying to work at a desk with the huge blazer flopping around my wrists and scuffing up my work.

It would drive me crackers.

teacherwith2kids Mon 23-Dec-13 21:32:00

I do not know anyone who wears 'absolutely anything from their wardrobe' to work each day. My experience is that everyone has a private 'work uniform', whether or not there is an externally imposed one.

For example, if like a previous poster I was expected to work in jeans and a T-shirt, I would need to go out and buy some, and I would keep those for work. Although I do have a jeans and a T shirt or two in my cupboard, they are of the 'slobbing at home and doing the gardening' variety, and wouldn't meet the requirements of even the most casual workplace. Equally when moving from an office job to a primary teaching job, I acquired a new 'uniform'.

Since teens don't in general earn their own money to buy clothes, but are more susceptible than adults to peer pressure in the matter of brands etc, it is probably easier for them to have an 'externally imposed' rather than a 'personally imposed' uniform. Certainly I, as a full scholarship holder at a rather posh girls' school, was far more comfortable when wearing uniform than when we had to wear non-uniform - the stark difference between my family's income and that which was the norm for the school was invisible in [secondhand] uniform but all too obvious in home clothes.

If I genuinely believed that all teens, given the option of non-uniform, would wear a cheap and comfortable, non-branded, durable, decent and practical set of clothing instead, I wouldn't have a problem. As the downsides of non-uniform in terms of peer pressure and expense FOR ME outweight any issues around blazers vs sweatshirts, I'm happy to keep the uniform option.

motherinferior Mon 23-Dec-13 22:18:00

Who's the person expected to work in jeans and a T shirt? If you meant me, you mistake. I was merely making the point you can do some good, reputable work not in a suit. And definitely not in a polyester jacket.

curlew Mon 23-Dec-13 22:21:28

And anyway, why do you have to start practising to be an estate agent or work behind the counter of a building society when you are 11? Don't they have any sort of induction programme?

MillyMollyMama Mon 23-Dec-13 23:48:17

I like a school to have a uniform but I do not see why it has to include a blazer. Both DDs had very expensive blazers at school and they were something akin to cardboard but made from wool. They appeared to have a practical use when the heating was less efficient than it should have been. I would hate a cheap polyester blazer though. Far, far better is a decent pullover and coat. My youngest DDs prep school sourced washable wool pullovers that lasted years without shrinking, pilling, stretching or unravelling or going into holes. These were such a good buy and much smarter than a cheap blazer I think. Cheap blazers look, well,cheap!

AuntySib Mon 23-Dec-13 23:57:13

I couldn't care less what they wear. I've worked in schools with and without uniform and can't see that it makes any difference at all.
However, if they could provide somewhere to hang coats rather than having to carry them around with them all day, well that would make a difference. There's a reason why most pupils don't wear coats to school.....( and get frozen or soaked) and it's not vanity!

Bunbaker Tue 24-Dec-13 06:45:15

Excellent post Teacher. On the very rare non uniform days at DD's school they all consult each other on what everyone is going to wear, and spend ages planning their wardrobe.

DD's blazer is inexpensive, washable and practical. The zipped inside pocket provides a secure method of keeping DD's keys, phone and bus pass from being lost or stolen. (she has had stuff taken from her bag before).

These items wouldn't be anywhere near as secure in jeans or hoodie pockets, or in her bag.

Coats on teenagers is usually a rare sight. Fortunately the current fashion for wearing a parka has taken off and most girls DD's age wear hem over their blazers in this weather. AuntySib is spot on about the other reason why coats are not usually worn. DD can keep her coat in her locker, but she has to get it at lunchtime because there isn't enough time between the last lesson and the bus leaving for her to get it, so everyone has to carry their coat for the last two lessons of the day.

Spottybra Tue 24-Dec-13 06:54:53

I tend to equate blazers with failing schools, as in its being enforced to prop up their image whilst the real long term effects take awhile to implement.

I thoroughly dislike secondary schools where the students look like clones. I'd rather see outrageous hair colours, some variation in school uniform, and high academic achievement celebrated personally.

After all , if you cannot rebel in your teens and get it out if your system then when can you?

Bunbaker Tue 24-Dec-13 07:01:45

"After all , if you cannot rebel in your teens and get it out if your system then when can you?"

I would far rather children rebelled against something as harmless as a school uniform than something potentially more damaging like experimenting with drugs.

curlew Tue 24-Dec-13 08:00:34

"I would far rather children rebelled against something as harmless as a school uniform than something potentially more damaging like experimenting with drugs."

I don't think it's "either/or"!

PointyChristmasFairyWand Tue 24-Dec-13 08:12:34

Exactly, curlew - that's the biggest straw man I've seen so far on this thread.

ivykaty44 Tue 24-Dec-13 08:14:09

Not wearing a uniform at school doesn't equate with experimenting with drugs in any shape way or form, taking a uniform away from a school would not have a raise in drug experimental use either.

curlew Tue 24-Dec-13 08:17:29

I think I'll just keep saying "school hoodie" until I wear everyone down and it becomes national policy..........

PointyChristmasFairyWand Tue 24-Dec-13 08:44:47

curlew it would be perfectly simple to develope a school hoodie with inner zip pockets so it could be used to carry important stuff safely. I'd far rather see a dress code - DD1's school has this in their 6th form. They suggest 'business dress' = cheap-looking suits hmm but basically you can wear anything as long as it is clean, covers everything, isn't ripped and has no slogans on. You won't get to be a prefect unless you turn up in a crap business suit, but who wants to be a prefect anyway? The school has pretty damn stellar A-level results.

curlew Tue 24-Dec-13 08:48:20

At dd's 6th form the boys are expected to have a suit and the girls a dark formal outfit to wear when representing the school in any way.

Why couldn't that work all the way through the school?

fairisleknitter Tue 24-Dec-13 09:04:02

curlew I saw a Chinese school on a TV report and they wore tracksuits as a uniform and so were ready for PE at all times! I thought it a neat solution.

WorrySighWorrySigh Tue 24-Dec-13 10:39:09

I wonder how many parents & teachers worry about non-uniform on the basis of their experience of the occasional non-uniform days that schools have and all the angst these create.

Honestly, from experience of non-uniform school system it really isnt like that. Students are very quickly into a standard of jeans/t-shirt/trainers routine.

Surely far better for teenagers to be in natural fibres than cheap nasty polyester?

PointyChristmasFairyWand Tue 24-Dec-13 10:51:54

Worry my DD1 doesn't even worry about non-uniform days. She just picks what she wants to wear and lays it out the night before. At the moment it's all lumberjack shirts and jeans here. She's aware of brands and the influence they can have, but we have been discussing the matter of branding, commercialism and materialism and the like since she and her sister were very little. We're a very non-materialist household and DD1 tends to hang out with people who share her views.

It must be hard if there isn't a peer group like that around though.

I completely agree on natural fibres - DD1 has eczema so needs to wear cotton. At her middle school that was an issue as the regularion polo shirt was 60% polyester and they were not reasonable about exemptions on health grounds - she was not considered severe enough...

At least in her current blazered environment she can wear whatever shirt and trousers she wants within the guidelines, as only the blazer, tie and PE kit are compulsory.

motherinferior Tue 24-Dec-13 10:52:57

Totally agree, WSW. It's like comparing the office party with a normal day (and yes, my kids went to a non uniform primary).

Taz1212 Tue 24-Dec-13 11:22:11

My experience in a non uniform school was very much pressure to conform to the brands that were currently in. There was an awful lot of subtle and not so subtle teasing if God forbid you turned up in a pair of Lee jeans instead of Levi's or Adidas instead of Nike or Izod instead of Polo (back in the mid 80s grin ). I'm very glad my children aren't in that sort of school environment. DS is in a well cut, well fitting wool blazer. It's possible I would be less keen about polyester, but would still prefer that over no uniform at all.

TalkinPeace Tue 24-Dec-13 14:48:13

Here's a surreal thought.

The mainland Europeans always say the English dress really badly.
Maybe its because we wear school uniform fgrin

NigellasDealer Tue 24-Dec-13 18:22:27

I would far rather children rebelled against something as harmless as a school uniform than something potentially more damaging like experimenting with drugs
that is ridiculous, our town is crawling with pupils in uniform scoring weed and getting wasted.

EnianShelZman Sun 29-Dec-13 00:19:52

sweatshirts look all wrong with smart black shoes that are required by most schools.

I had studied in on of the European schools that did not have school uniforms and the teasing and bullying of kids that could not afford the trendy clothing was horrific. Also there were daily power struggles between teenagers and teachers arguing about what should be worn to school.

I love DSs blazer.

LadyInDisguise Sun 29-Dec-13 20:50:30

Talk IMO this is certainly a reason. No need to learn how to dress as most days than bit you just wear a uniform. Weekends are just relaxed type of clothes. When are children getting the opportunity to learn to do that and for parents to actually provide enough clothes for them to do so when it's only 2 days a week..,.

pixiepotter Wed 01-Jan-14 13:48:40

Did anyone see Educating Yorkshire at xmas? They have changed their uniform to include a blazer, and what a difference it makes to the look of the pupils? Who can be proud of wearing a sweatshirt?

CecilyP Wed 01-Jan-14 16:04:40

If they have just changed their uniform, then all the blazers will be new and smart looking. That won't always be the case.

Trying to imagine DS who went to a non-uniform school in a blazer ... no, can't do it.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 02-Jan-14 18:27:14

I just thought how much nicer Bailey looked with a clean face!

AtiaoftheJulii Fri 03-Jan-14 20:46:32

Don't mind uniforms, though would be perfectly happy without them. Hate blazers. They're either expensive but good quality, or cheap and shitty.

Dd1 goes to very well-respected, very successful girls grammar. They wear v-neck sweatshirts and open collared white shirts. Doesn't do their results any damage whatsoever. And their sixth formers can wear pretty much what they like (no shorts, no offensive slogans, no bare midriffs) and again, get excellent A level results.

Ds wears a suit and tie for school. He does look gorgeous, but also like a miniature cabinet minister, which is a weird and unnecessary look for an eleven year old.

And I'd love to know how the poster earlier can make one blazer last for 4 years without it looking ridiculous for at least 2 of them. Ds's first one lasted for y7. Surely most kids have expanded by several inches in all directions by the end of y10!

jellybeans Fri 03-Jan-14 20:50:26

dislike them

CecilyP Sat 04-Jan-14 10:33:43

Atia, I had a blazer that lasted 7 years - well, from summer term of Y7 to the summer term of Y13, but it was a non-compulsory item (although everyone had one) so didn't wear it every day and only grew upward rather than outward - had a physique like Olive Oyl in those days. I think if I had had one bought to fit for the start of Y7, it would have been outgrown though.

cory Sun 05-Jan-14 12:29:00

I like the compromise of less formal uniform: sweatshirt and shirt but no blazer or tie. A grubby blazer and tie look dreadful. Can't see anything wrong with smart black shoes and a sweatshirt: it's what lots of people (including myself) wear for work.

AffineWatercolourist Sun 05-Jan-14 13:26:00

I agree with whoever said that blazers can make girls feel more confident when they're self-conscious about breasts, whether due to being flat-chested or well developed relative to everyone else. For me that would swing it, I only have to remember myself at that age. I wonder if the people who think sweatshirts are fab were all relatively comfortable with their bodies at that age so don't get that perspective? (Not a criticism if so, I'm just curious!)

Erebus Mon 06-Jan-14 23:02:57

Wish my DSs wore a blazer'n'tie combo instead of the shapeless black sweatshirt & droopy whitish polo! The girls in particular look quite self conscious. They're just about the only local secondary not in a blazer- nearest one reverted last Sept- It's not about results or discipline (best academic comp in the county, vair MC), it's about taking some pride in one's appearance. And having pockets!

ICantFindAFreeNickName Mon 06-Jan-14 23:24:21

Although I agree with school uniforms, I don't like blazers. They are too hot in summer and useless at keeping the cold/wet out in winter. They also tend to be black / navy which is not great for being seen in the dark.
Also teenagers can be very sweaty. I bought my ds 5 logo sweatshirts (£10 each) at the start of each school year, and he wore a clean one every day. I cant believe how awful a blazer would have smelt if it was only washed every few weeks.

Thants Mon 06-Jan-14 23:52:04

I don't think we should have uniforms at all but blazers are awful. They look silly. Are uncomfortable and impractical. They aren't very warm in winter and are too hot in summer.
They cost a lot so are a difficult item for some families to buy which is wrong.

miss600 Thu 09-Jan-14 11:08:55

First world issues [hmmm]

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