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Do uniforms really reflect school standards?

(51 Posts)
pixiepixel3 Wed 20-Jul-11 20:32:43

1 or 2 recent threads elluded to the claim you can tell good schools from bad simply by the standard of their uniform. So a school that insisted (successfully) on a traditional uniform like blazers, ties, pleated skirts, tucked in shirts etc. were generally better than a school of kids dressed like ragamuffins. Though in some ways a sloppy uniform is worse than no uniform but tidy jeans, T shirt etc. so depends how you definie smart.

Certainly in Glasgow all the private schools have this kind of smart uniform and the top non private (not council run either but hey) also does (and though not private they have huge waiting lists so can probably enforce it easily). Poorer schools tend to have very scruffy kids miandering about its grounds and outside. (anyone playing the poverty card, there are clothing grants for such families)

There are exceptions to every rule so please don't tell me that. In general though.

ravenAK Wed 20-Jul-11 20:40:18

Schools with compliant students & parents find it easier to enforce strict uniform.

Students then are seen out & about looking smart. Prospective parents form an impression of school as having high standards (or as being up its own bum...) & are attracted (or put off...) accordingly.

It becomes self-reinforcing.

maypole1 Wed 20-Jul-11 23:13:57

Well we have 5 outstanding schools in our la they are the ones with blazers ties and strict uniforms the other schools have all opted for a mish mash of air text tops, trainers , jumpers, zip tops ,leggings, jeans

Also majority of top fee paying schools having strict uniform also so that should tell you something

Most of these schools have opted for this loose uniform because theft simply can't get their student body to wear anything else the discipline is not part of their school ethos

My sons new school has a strict uniform policy the head said if you cannot get a child to do their top bottom up what chance have to got to get them to do as you say on any other matter and that staring right their was one of the reasons why hes going to the school he's going to

Even the 6th form have to wear work clothing suits Ect often when looking at the 6th formers from other schools I am often horrified pants slung low,boobs out needless to say the school near me only has 30% of its students going to uni and my sons new school has 95%

usualsuspect Wed 20-Jul-11 23:17:11

I think that people who think the stricter the uniform the better the school are deluded tbh

but then I hate all school uniform ,especially the weird suit thing for 6th form

Oakmaiden Wed 20-Jul-11 23:21:00

Most of the schools here have hoodies as part of their uniform, which I just think is weird.

The closest school to me had shirts and ties as uniform until this academic year, but the head told me they had changed the uniform as they couldn't get the children to wear it properly. Which made me a bit hmm. We didn't send my son there!

maypole1 Wed 20-Jul-11 23:30:24

Well all I can go on is my area the high achieving schools all are very strict and have smart uniforms the not so good schools seem to have a mish mash uniform the girls wear makeup, heels, also really tight shirts to their boobs pop up the boys were black jeans instead of trousers and trainers even the Muslim girls have so much make up on and bright coloured head scarfs with flowers and bows on top

Muslims at my sons school are allowed a black head scarf or a black turban thats it and the head said in the year 6 induction they have no issues with sending the children home

cat64 Wed 20-Jul-11 23:38:20

Message withdrawn

magentadreamer Thu 21-Jul-11 07:14:37

DD goes to a school where uniform is strictly enforced. They do not wear the blazer,shirt and tie get up. They wear polo shirt, school cardigan or sweat shirt ( not a hoodie!) black trousers or knee length skirts, black or white socks or black tights with black shoes. trainers are banned. The local "high achieving" school does have a uniform of blazer,shirt and tie etc. I work near this school and even the liberal me is shocked at the length of some girls skirts and how tight they are. DD would be sent home PDQ if she turned up with a skirt so short. DD's school made the local news paper a couple of years back when they sent a girl home and refused to have her back till she was dressed as per uniform policy.

PonceyMcPonce Thu 21-Jul-11 07:19:44

I do think there is a strong connection though agree it can seem illogical.
Our students are inspected at school gates and have to remove all make up and jewellery. Weird haircuts give rise tomexclusion

Yellowstone Thu 21-Jul-11 09:14:07

St. Paul's Girls' School has no uniform.

Ensuring that kids do buttons up etc., tuck shirts in and generally look smart doesn't require an expensive uniform.

There are very poor quality independent schools with hugely expensive uniforms and where the unifom code is strictly enforced.

wonderstuff Thu 21-Jul-11 09:21:36

LOL the school I teach at does the whole blazer tie thing - the head is very keen to enforce uniform - our results last year were amongst the worst in the UK..
We do have stupid clip ties that the kids are always taking off and losing.
I really would rather spend time focussing on more important things than ties and trainers.

mummytime Thu 21-Jul-11 10:44:54

All the schools here have Blazers for secondary. I think far more crucial is how the rules are enforced. If they say shirts have to be tucked in, then are they? If not it shows a sloppiness to rules, which the pupils will extend to other areas.

DooinMeCleanin Thu 21-Jul-11 10:49:10

Dd1 primary school is a feeder school to the highest acheieving school in our town. We have no private schools in town.

They have the blazers and tie thing going on, but the girls still seem able to make this look 'cheap' with skirts so short you are not sure they are wearing one, flimsy, extra tight blouses and flowers in their hair the same size as their head. I'm never sure whether they are going to school or a nightclub. They school does well each year without fail.

Bue Thu 21-Jul-11 12:06:39

In a word, no. Where I come from no schools have uniforms and in general, the schools are better on average than schools in the UK. And I'm a tutor at a public school - the kids are a state (the head and therefore the teachers don't place much importance on it), but the education is exceptional.

Peachy Thu 21-Jul-11 12:16:56

I don't think so, not always anyway.

The reason for this is that once you remove the extremes of good and bad there are not so much good and bad schools but the right ones for your child.

our local comp, where I hope ds2 will go next eyar, is a well regarded blazer and tie affair: bloody expensive uniform. DS1 however ahs different needs and I have selected a comp that can meet them but is in a less affluent area so chooses to have a uniform of tie and sweater.

Our primary looks a bit ahem with it's uniform atm but that's becuase it is in transition: no more ties for 4 year olds after 2012, all over to smart polo and logo jumper option. much more sensible.

I'd much better judge a school by how welcoming it is if I ahd to make a snap judgement.

pixiepixel3 Thu 21-Jul-11 12:19:49

Bue, your experience sounds similar to a top state school in Edinburgh with no uniform and everyone is quite happy with that. (inappropriate items like miniskirts, football colours, alcohol/tobacco items are still banned) On the other side of the coin I have yet to see a school with a smart uniform that has poor results or serious indiscipline.

Peachy Thu 21-Jul-11 12:20:36

'. If they say shirts have to be tucked in, then are they? If not it shows a sloppiness to rules, which the pupils will extend to other areas.
'

I'd agree with that; it also shows, wrt to trainers if not allowed etc, whether the parents are on board- important.

Also a school that does not choose hard to find coloures that precludes Asda and insist on costly options isn't IMO demonstrating the sort of welcoming atmosphere to all children i would want. Now schools are not supposed to ban logo free uniforms, a lot get around it by picking odd colours (eg navy where all otehr schools have black and grey) and making it cost just a bit more to clothe your child. having gone in the course of ds1's primary eyars from affluentish to poor to slowly climbing back up, we've noticed this matters a lot (all our boys attend or will different schools for SEN reasons so we're gaining lots of experience!)

Lancelottie Thu 21-Jul-11 12:26:47

We've recently moved one of ours from a blazer-and-tie sort of school to a sweatshirt-for-all secondary. Discipline at the second school is superb, far better than the other. Bit of a shock for naturally scruffy DS, in fact.

<I know the plural of anecdote is not data...>

Lancelottie Thu 21-Jul-11 12:28:15

I did enjoy the note in the school newsletter saying 'We suggest the purchase of a nice plain belt, as some of our unfortunate students still seem to have problems keeping their trousers above their underwear'.

startail Thu 21-Jul-11 12:45:03

Lance I know I'm not allowed LOL, but I did.
DD1 has been endlessly entertained by a boy in her classes choice of bright pink cartoon underwear and the fact that he seems to wear the same ones two days running. Further entertainment has been provided by the maths mistresses futile attempts to stop seeing Xs underwear and see his homework instead!

cat64 Thu 21-Jul-11 15:01:09

Message withdrawn

PonceyMcPonce Thu 21-Jul-11 18:37:10

Our school is introducing a special summer shirt - proper open neck, logo and styled not to be tucked in. Will be interesting to see it.

Rest of uniform is well selected - washable and cost effective, so my hopes are high

TalkinPeace2 Thu 21-Jul-11 20:08:56

I am regularly in Winchester for work.
Their boys are scruffy beyond belief.
Yes the clothes (sports jacket, white shirt, house tie, brown trousers, dark shoes) are expensive but they JUST LOOK SCRUFFY.

Private near here - HCS : blazer, tie etc but subdued colours. SH : tartan ; too much. Stroud : too much purple

State (no grammars all comp)
T in CF - polo and jumper - always seem rowdy as they kick out (I work near there too)
RS and MB in R - both blazer and tie - huge schools good results
Kings in W : ditto

And then the Southampton schools
least said soonest mended

and BTW ; my junior school had the jelly bag hats. Uniform cuts both ways
BUT
an attitude to being disciplined without undue privilege permeates all that the kids to

Tortu Thu 21-Jul-11 22:54:40

Hmmm, there is an old teacher phrase, 'take care of the little things and the big things take care of themselves', so if you make a really big deal out of whether shirts are tucked in or not, children won't dare bring, say, a knife in as they will assume that the deal made out of that would be massive.

In my experience, this works. Schools with a very strict uniform policy tend to have a very strict everything else policy.

cory Fri 22-Jul-11 09:14:53

Round here it is the most over-subscribed school with the best results that has the most laidback informal uniform: the ones with discipline problems go for the full tie and blazer approach because they feel they can't afford any slippage. Personally, I think the message sent out by the laidback school- we trust that you will behave anyway- has a positive effect on discipline: a bit like a teacher who is so confident she never raises her voice. But of course you have to have a certain level of justified confidence to make that approach safe in the first place. We are not in a leafy suburb though.

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