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Is there ANY proven correlation between school uniform and performance?

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

Any data (either way) anywhere?

RooneyMara Thu 02-May-13 09:56:05

Lol Hully, I like that. very blatant.

We have decided but still want to pretend to care what you think, because we have to.

Lt Eve - it's the trousers. The nasty, uncomfortable, frayed hem polyester trousers that make climbing and swinging and even sitting at a desk fairly uncomfortable.
And the ridiculous shoes that have to be 'smart' and not 'trainers' so Geox are banned, even smart, normal Geox that aren't trainers, and Clarks office shoes that go through at the toe within a week are perfecty acceptable.

haggisaggis Thu 02-May-13 09:57:32

From a work point of view ...when I started working (26 years ago - scary or what!) everyone wore suits or at least smart trousers / skirts. Now we wear what we want - so some staff members wear jeans through the week. Others will still wear a shirt & tie. We have seen no drop in productivity - in fact i would say that we probably work harder than we did 26 years ago. If we are meeting a new client then we may put on "smarter" clothes due to expectations - but it does nothing to increase productivity.

littlewhitebag Thu 02-May-13 09:59:36

My DD2 went to do sixth form at a private school. The year she started they introduced the wearing of suits for sixth form. She didn't really like it, mostly because she didn't enjoy wearing a jacket in class plus the rules were quite strict about what they could and couldn't wear. I don't think wearing it made her achieve any better but she did look very smart! DD1 has another year in uniform before she has to wear the suit! We have learned from DD1. Just get cheap suits from H&M!

RevoltingPeasant Thu 02-May-13 10:00:01

Hully I agree 100%.

In my (American) high school, the emphasis was very much on training us to be citizens.

This had some undesirable aspects, like making us say the pledge of allegiance to the flag every morning.

But it also had some excellent aspects. For example, teachers never 'marked our books'. Our notebooks were where we took our own notes and if they weren't up to scratch, we wouldn't be able to do our homework and would eventually fail. Our problem.

We had a robust school government system, with elected 'presidents' and 'senators' who worked with the staff to formulate school rules. Our school had a nationally award winning newspaper produced to proper broadsheet production values. We also had a mini courtroom for law classes, and sometimes, students who had committed 'crimes' such as graffitti-ing in school were 'tried' by their peers there.

I remember the outrage when the school introduced bells between lessons. Previously, the idea had been that you need to wear a watch and get yourself to your next class on time. We actually staged sit-ins to protest against this infantilisation - fond memories grin

I am a university lecturer now, and my students are great - but many of them are really lacking in independence and initiative when they come. I really think schools here infantilise and homogenise children and don't teach them to work independently. Uniforms are just part of that.

Katiepoes Thu 02-May-13 10:00:47

So how does it work in countries where uniforms barely exist? I have never seen a child in a uniform in Holland, nor in Germany when I lived there. Yet somehow the kids scrape by despite their scruffiness. Some even manage to get to university believe it or not.

I had a uniform (Irish) - school pride my eye. We spent more time coming up with ways to personalise the horrible thing and HATED that it identified us as from the school. It didn't save my parents money either, my school had notions about itself and there was a kilt, an official crested jumper, tie, scarf and particularly vile gabardine coat all only available from tow shops. Then there was the gym gear...the bag....the blazer...load of nonsense really.

fruitpastille Thu 02-May-13 10:01:59

Personally i think the notion of dressing 'professionally' is rather outdated. Many people don't wear a suit and tie for work. As long as you don't wear anything inappropriate i don't see the issue. My DH wears shorts and a linen shirt to work all year round. It doesn't affect his ability to do his job.

Similarly students at university seem perfectly capable of achieving exam success while looking a bit scruffy.

Many countries around the world don't have school uniforms and it doesn't turn the children into delinquents.

Business wear for 6th form sounds hideous, they will look like candidates for the apprentice!

Maryz Thu 02-May-13 10:02:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KansasCityOctopus Thu 02-May-13 10:03:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

5madthings Thu 02-May-13 10:03:46

Sorry what kind of behaviour does goth clothing encourage?!! The goths local to me are without a doubt the ones that will offer to help me on and off the bus with a pushchair and are sweet and polite to my children and me. They seem to hang around in groups and have made lovely comments to my ds3 who likes to wear a tutu ovet his jeans smile

We got a new ht a few yrs ago and he brought in a new uniform, the second one in four years!! Logod jumpers available from one supplier, white polos instead of the navy blue they had before. Its cost a firtune buying new uniform for three children and a massive waste of the old uniform that i coukd have handed down. The blue polo shirts were great, washed brilliantly, didnt stain etc and now we have crappy white ones that i am forever replacing as they dont stat white!

We did get involved, a friend became a govenor and we all wrote and asked qyestions, made suggestions etc that were pretty much universally ignored! The only consesion given was a slightly longer grace period to replace the old uniform. Its crap. I like other things the head has done and i can see he wanted to put his stamp on the school with the new uniform but he has pissed a lot of parents off and made his start at the school unpopular.

I have sucked it up and bought the uniform tho i refuse to get the logo swratshirts as thry are expensive and the colour runs! I get the supermarket equivalent which is cheaper and washes better but ht chose a colour not available in tesco or asda and only occasionally stocked bu sainaburys.

Debenhams, m&s and john lewis dont stock the colour either infact sainsburys is the only shop that does othet than the school unifotm centre. Thats a bloody disgrace, so much for being easily available and a good price and quality.

I have no qualms supporting the school as my boys are happy and thriving but i bloody hate the monopoly on uniform by the schoolwear centre that 90%+ of schools buy into, its a disgrace.

Hullygully Thu 02-May-13 10:04:06


I do support the school. I am on every committee, I know all the teachers etc etc My dc are straight A/A* students who behave very well.

What I can't support is ILLOGICALITY in any form. This is why I am struggling, I want to support the school, but they are not acting like rational adults.

Supporting authority just because it IS authority leads to some very dangerous places.

Hullygully Thu 02-May-13 10:04:44

good points, Revolting

5madthings Thu 02-May-13 10:09:58

rooney my boys wear geox, the only shoes that will fit their feet or ricosta and the school tried to say not allowed, they are smart but not always plain black. I told the ht if he had a problem he could speak to me (after ds3 got told off) and explained they are the only shoes that fit! Hell i would quite like to buy cheaper shoes rather than £40-50 a pair but they need well fitting shoes and clarks, startrite etx dont sell any that fit. I did say he could try and find some if he wanted...

Startail Thu 02-May-13 10:10:07

According to DD uniform wastes 5 minutes a lesson, 25 minutes a day as the teachers have to check it each lesson as they go in.

I suspect there is very little research as it's in no ones interest to fund it.

Uniform companies like the status quo, schools like uniform, the government perceive parents like uniform.

Only DCs and a few parents who dare think for themselves hate uniform.

But more than anything uniform is seen as the British way of doing things. We are a conservative nation. Only those dangerously liberal Europeans don't have uniforms, despite the fact that much of Europe has better results.

Gingersstuff Thu 02-May-13 10:10:54

My DD's grammar school recently had a student vote as to whether to keep uniform or ditch it. I thought it was a great idea letting them decide for themselves. Maybe surprisingly to some, the vast majority voted to keep's a great school, the pupils are proud to be a part of it and I think it saves a great deal of angst about not wearing the "right" labels for teens. Having said that there is a wee bit of leeway with what consitutes uniform, enough for each pupil to express a bit of individuality (which my DD takes full advantage of grin)

loofet Thu 02-May-13 10:13:30

Nope, no correlation whatsoever. However I can see good reasons to keep it- American's don't have school uniform and there's god awful cliques which I would HATE to see over here. I know when I was at school there was an element of it- the 'moshers' for example but nowhere near as bad as the US. Everyone is forced into a group, forced to have a label. Bullying is A LOT worse.

Also it gets them ready for the working world where most places do have some sort of uniform, most work places you can't just rock up in jeans and trainers wink Plus would you be comfortable with, for example, girls rocking up in no tights, tiny shorts and a boob tube to school? -shudder-

I think if everyone has to wear the same its one less (large!) reason to bully someone. Agreed you can still tell who the 'poor' kids are by their appearence, shoes, coat, bag etc but at least they don't have to turn up even more embarrassed with the one tracksuit they own every day or whatever.

I know none uniform days were dreadful at my secondary school. Everyone was so judgey, it was a big competition and there was always the poor souls who always turned up in a neon orange cheap tracksuit that everyone would mock. I bet it was a relief for those kids to be back in uniform tbh.

BumPotato Thu 02-May-13 10:14:53

My DDs' school is strict about uniform. It is also one of the top performing schools, exam results wise, in the country.

Hullygully Thu 02-May-13 10:15:35

How do people manage at university then?

Hullygully Thu 02-May-13 10:16:14

Bet it's a super selective huh, bumpotato?

LemonsLimes Thu 02-May-13 10:16:31

Sorry if already mentioned, but this school doesn't have a uniform but is one of the top schools in the country. Likewise, no uniforms in Germany, France etc and i'm sure it doesn't affect results.

Hullygully Thu 02-May-13 10:17:48

yy lemons, I used that school in my polite letter of enquiry. Strangely, it was ignored.

Haberdashery Thu 02-May-13 10:19:05

>> Plus would you be comfortable with, for example, girls rocking up in no tights, tiny shorts and a boob tube to school?

But why would they do that? I went to a secondary without uniform and people just wore jeans and T shirts because by the time they'd got to the sort of age where boob tubes and shorts might have been desirable, everyone had realised that comfort and practicality were also important.

Not to mention the fact that I see plenty of girls in supposed uniform with tiny miniskirts and socks on which is no better than shorts and a boob tube, IMO.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 02-May-13 10:20:15

I really cannot understand the angst around school uniform.

It is cheap, washes well and you don't have the 'I want to wear XYZ' discussion every morning. Per item it might be slightly more expensive than the cheapest things that you can get from supermarkets, but the uniform I bought for DS1 back in September is still looking smart and clean, unlike the cheap end of the rest of his clothes.

There are far more important things to engage with the school over than what the kids are wearing, surely? And far more interesting ways to express your opinions and individuality during the 6/7 hours a day that children are at school.

Haberdashery Thu 02-May-13 10:20:43

>> My DDs' school is strict about uniform. It is also one of the top performing schools, exam results wise, in the country.

The school I went to had no uniform and has been in the top five or ten schools in the country ever since they started publishing league tables.

There's really no correlation between results and uniforms.

Maat Thu 02-May-13 10:21:02

DS2 is in his final year at college. He is very arty / crafty and taking film studies at university. I can't imagine he will wear a proper business suit ever in his life.

Not only that - he is 5'5" and would look like a little boy at a wedding in a suit. I'm not sure making him feel self conscious would enhance his college experience somehow!

Hullygully Thu 02-May-13 10:23:37

Can't you alibabaa?

Oh well.

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