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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?

MCos Sun 21-Jul-13 01:20:27

Nothing to do with performance.
But, thank God my two have school uniform. Getting out of the house is bad enough - I can only imagine what it would be like if they needed to consider what to wear!
Our uniform is not so expensive, and we do uniform second hand sale all throughout the year. Also the uniform is reasonably attractive, my girls are proud of it. (Still in primary - sure that will change in secondard).
Uniform works for me.

ukjess Sun 21-Jul-13 00:58:54

the majority of effective uk schools have a strict uniform.

When I say effective I mean those with high CVA (value added) scores.

Obviously almost all schools with high raw scores have a strict uniform.

On an anecdotal level I think good uniform is a highly effective way to improve ethos and academic achievement and would recommend it in all schools in all types of situation and intake.

nooka Thu 09-May-13 02:39:29

I've a boy and a girl so pretty limited hand me down possibilities there. The polo shirts from primary worked for a while, but dd is pretty much the same size as ds and by secondary they would have been in strictly segregated clothes (and different schools as our local schools were all single sex, something else I'm glad to have escaped from!).

Oddly our school didn't seem to have any second hand sales, perhaps primary children generally wreck their clothes too much to hand them down?

Limited clothes doesn't work terribly well for younger children because they are messy buggers or teens because they tend to be smelly buggers. Plus if wearing slightly different clothes from your peers is likely to lead to bullying goodness knows how wearing dirty, old or ripped clothes might go down!

pointythings Wed 08-May-13 22:04:48

I have problems with hand me downs too - DD1 is tall ans starting a figure, DD2 is tall and skinny as a rake, she will drown in everything DD1 hands down. The blazer is one size fits none so she will have to lump that, but I will have to buy school trousers, blouses etc. all over again. As for the utterly crap nylon football socks - I think she will have to wear a suspender belt for PE, I don't see it working any other way.

WorrySighWorrySigh Wed 08-May-13 21:52:59

Hand me downs are possible for the DD's but cant see DS wanting DD's blazer. Unfortunately DC's school is one of the cackademies (academy status rather than yet another return to special measures). One of the re-launches of the school meant a change of uniform so only one blazer to be handed down.

Perhaps if the school was good I would feel differently. I do associate the poor quality, badly made uniform with the poor quality, badly run school.

Perhaps if I hadnt had the experience of a non-uniform system which worked without problem then I would see uniform as normal and necessary.

pointythings Wed 08-May-13 18:45:46

Pressure to wear the right 'brands' was around when I was growing up in Holland. Amazingly enough, quite a lot of people were smart enough not to give in to it. Are children less smart these days? I don't think so.

I've told my DDs that if the want brand-name clothes, they can earn the money themselves. DH and I don't wear brands when at home, neither do the majority of the DDs' friends - the brand-obsessed are a different subset of friends that they don't belong to (and don't want to belong to).

Clothes are only social death if you allow them to be.

And I'm with WSW re growing out of clothes - DD1 is in her teen growth spurt, she has shot up 4 inches in the past year and so a lot of her clothes no longer fit her - including uniform.

I also don't agree that there is a collusion between the government and the likes of TruTex, but I refuse to believe that schools don't get some sort of kickback from the uniform companies when they sign these exclusive deals on logo'd items. It's either that or believe that schools want their students dressed in uncomfortable ill-fitting crap clothes.

LazarussLozenge Wed 08-May-13 18:39:53

Oh, I thought they wre yours.

Couldn't your kids do hand me downs on the uniforms?

I find the best way of avoiding grow out, instead of wear out, is to have very few clothes...

WorrySighWorrySigh Wed 08-May-13 18:03:59

Lazarus - the uniform costs were MTS's not mine just based on my household's need for duplicates (one on, one in the wash, one in the drawer).

£200 of uniform (plus shoes and uniform sports kit) multiplied by 3 DCs in the same school is £600 so closer to £12/week.

Of course clothes get worn out quicker but having a DS who is growing like a weed I would far rather he wore out some of his clothes rather than grew out of them all. In the long term this is more economical.

lisson Wed 08-May-13 15:00:33

What enables better exam performance is good teaching combined with hard working, diligent, interested, intelligent students who are otherwise undistracted as much as possible.

That's common sense, isn't it?

I guess the schools where children do well mostly have those conditions .

Then the question is what about the schools that aren't like that: does school uniform make them more like the ideal?
I'd say yes and no. Yes if it helps stop the children from being distracted by other things and if by putting the uniform on the children are being conditioned to think of themselves in non-play mode.
However, i'd say that this is only a small drop in the ocean if the children come from homes where the importance of school is not reinforced and disrespect for the school and is openly discussed.

LazarussLozenge Wed 08-May-13 15:00:03

'WorrySighWorrySigh Tue 07-May-13 22:12:51

MTS - a week's worth of school uniform is going to cost over £200 (3 shirts & skirts & 1 blazer).

Perhaps it seems like good value to you but for a lot of households that is a lot of money to find all in one go in September especially when you have to add uniform shoes and uniform sports kit. On top of that you have to multiply it by the number of children.

Without a school uniform jeans & t shirts will be rolled over from August to September, from weekend to week day.'

Where did you buy the uniform? Or is it very specific?

That said, you'd pay that in clothes replacing the uniform. Kids aren't going to turn up in 'George' for long.

You may think it is cheaper to roll clothes over, but actually it isn't. You are wearing them, so you are causing them to degrade quicker. Yeah, you've removed the Sept pay out, but you will be paying more through the year.

Easy way to deal with this, put a couple of quid aside each week.

Blu Wed 08-May-13 14:36:47

MTS - I do not know the answer to Hully's question - the one about data.

And my own beliefs about uniform are not based on the data Hully craves but on various unconnected snippets of anecdotal evidence and observation, and the fact that at the very least lack of a uniform does not impede attainment in countries which outperform the UK.

In my own case I am sure that my better academic performance at A level was not actually based on cheesecloth smocks, but on being able to focus on subjects I was passionate about, not spending the pre-exam-term half term unsupervised in a caravan with a freind, and on my much greater relative maturity - I went through secondary school a whole year younger and caught up in 6th form. But then the lack of a uniform might have contributed to my sense of being a grown up and taking responsibility for my education in a way that is crucial in the more research based work of A levels. In any case the lack of uniform did not distract me in any way, I managed not to be late for school as a result of dithering over which pair of platform clogs to wear, and I did not daydream lessons away wondering what would be in Miss Selfridges sale.

WorrySighWorrySigh Wed 08-May-13 13:01:25

But Ilikethebreeze, how do you explain the absence of a problem in countries where school uniform is definitely not the norm eg most of Europe? Are the children in these countries all constantly worrying (without it affecting their academic performance) or are they emotionally different somehow?

School uniform is not free. It creates a discipline issue in itself, whether it solves another one or not, through students not wearing the right clothes. In other threads parents have spoken of their DCs suffering significant punishments including internal exclusion for not wearing the correct clothing.

For me, if uniform does create problems then we shouldnt simply accept the status quo or follow the doctrine of 'it did me no harm'. We should question it, we should demand proof of it having value.

Ilikethebreeze Wed 08-May-13 12:21:28

There may indeed be no proven data for the link.
But without uniform, children's emotions will get in the way when they are younger.
I think schools have got it about right when Years 12 and 13 dont have to war uniform. I dont think, at that age, that, for the majority anyway, it affects their school performance. And perhaps, there could be more of a let up in Year 11.
But younger than that,yes, pupils, many, can be very consious of what they are wearing compared to others.
No data.
I am of the opinion that we really dont need data for everything.

seeker Wed 08-May-13 12:19:54

Er, MTS- that was a joke. About conspiracy theories? You know- the companies who make uniforms suppressing the data that shows there is no correlation between their product and academic performance....?

MTSCostcoChickenFan Wed 08-May-13 12:17:16

There is no data therefore the data had to be suppressed ???

Anyway, if you ladies want to spend your time knocking down arguments that no one is making then don't let me stop you.

And there was I thinking that talking about chicken was as silly as it was going to get.

seeker Wed 08-May-13 11:21:54

No data either way. But that's because the study was commissioned and funded by TruTex and John Lewis, and because the research showed no correlation, it has been suppressed.

<hides in tinfoil bunker, pointing out lizard people to a heedless world. Did you know that the moon landings were a hoax, and the jets that we saw fly into the twin towers were holograms?>

Hullygully Wed 08-May-13 11:03:12

Any data (either way) anywhere?

That was my very first post

Hullygully Wed 08-May-13 11:02:31

don't be so ridiculous

I say clearly I wondered if anyone knew of data either way

don't judge others by your own standards

MTSCostcoChickenFan Wed 08-May-13 10:17:06

You are posting a question to which you and I know the answer. The purpose therefore is to solicit a response from some dim poster who thinks that a uniform increases academic performance so that you can knock it down.

Hullygully Wed 08-May-13 08:45:43

Please tell me why my question isn't "legitimate" MTS

MTSCostcoChickenFan Wed 08-May-13 08:06:17

Blu - you reckon that the clothes that you wore made you a better A Level student?

If you think that not wearing a uniform made you cleverer then I take it that you agree that uniforms do affect academic performance albeit negatively in your case. In which case, why are you waiting for others to answer a question to which you already know the answer?

WorrySighWorrySigh Wed 08-May-13 07:33:53

Well, we have struggled when we have fewer than 3 shirts and 3 pairs of trousers.

2 DDs (13 & 17) with strict allowances. This means that they cannot afford to be head to toe in branded wear. Makes them careful as to how they spend their money.

DD1 (the 17 year old) is in the position of having high income friends who can afford the brands. DD cannot afford this so budgets carefully wearing plain jeans and a signature item whether t shirt or scarf or whatever. She dresses far better than I have ever managed.

DD2's school is in a low income area. They all shop locally (no Matalan nearby) so tend to dress at a lower price point.

MTSCostcoChickenFan Tue 07-May-13 22:42:49

DD has one skirt and two blouses and a blazer. The skirt and blouses are worn next to the skin so we bought new. Blazer was second hand. Girls don't kill their jackets like boys so 2nd hand was like new. Did the lot for £100.

For us, uniforms is the cheaper option, at least as far as DD is concerned. If DD's weekend wear was extended to school days .....

Gap skinny jeans, Converse shoes , Hollister T Shirt, Jack Wills hoody. Can't be seen wearing the same stuff twice in a week.

The above would definitely cost me more than £100

If you was on a limited income how would you like your DD to be in Matalan clothes while her classmates were dressed as above? And please don't tell me that your DD wouldnt care.

Primary school were simpler days. There our uniform was grey trousers, blue sweatshirt and white polo shirt. All generic items available at Matalan, Tesco and friends.

I accept that some schools have uniforms that are a rip off but looking around at my state and private schools that isn't as wide spread as people think.

Like threads about GS a great debate is being had that affect very few people.

Blu Tue 07-May-13 22:32:34

How on earth can Hully's question not be legitimate? It's one I would like to know the answer to, too.

And in pursuit of the whole question that Hully is NOT asking , I believe I am a sensible person, in fact I am renowned for being sensible, and I would happily see school uniform got rid of.

At my highly academic girls school we wore uniforms until O levels and then could wear our own clothes in sixth form. I did much better in my A levels, wearing a selection of cheesecloth smocks than I did wearing a duck egg Viyella blouse and pleated skirt.

wonderingagain Tue 07-May-13 22:31:03

Oh goody a conspiracy theory. So Big Business is in league with the government to maintain their dominance of the hugely profitable uniforms market. That will get all the mc mums boycotting uniforms and their talk of 'sense of belonging' will shift to 'liberate the kids from their corporate ties'.

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