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Those schools that have rules like "you must not take your blazer off even if it is 30 degrees" - why?

(40 Posts)
HerBeatitude Sat 19-Sep-09 14:39:27

I'm genuinely interested.

It seems so obviously unpleasant and unfair - adults sitting in short sleeves while kids are sitting there sweating and not allowed to make themselves more comfortable - that I'm always astonished when I hear about schools that have that kind of rule. I wonder what sort of adults would think it's a good idea to treat children so unkindly and with such a lack of respect and consideration. But there must be some educational or behaviour philosophy to it, mustn't there? I presume they don't just do it because they're all mad, so they must have some kind of thought-out reason as to why this is a good idea. Can anyone shed any light?

bronzebeard Sat 19-Sep-09 14:41:12

I went to a school where you had to have permission to take it off. Most of the teachers were pretty reasonable though

QueenOfFuckingEverything Sat 19-Sep-09 14:44:09

They claim that strict uniform rules improve behaviour.

Our local secondary has a rule that pupils may not wear anything over their blazer, whatever the weather hmm My friend's DD was threatened with suspension for wearing a coat (plain, navy, waterproof) in the snow last winter.

I think its wank myself. Its just something thats relatively easy to enforce to give the impression the kids are being kept in their place.

echofalls Sat 19-Sep-09 14:58:47

Our school made blazers compulsary this year after saying that most parents voted for it which is something I don't believe for a minute.

Anyway they are struggling to enforce it. As long as my ds have their blazers with them in their bag and can show them when asked that is as far as its went.

So I have spent 60 quid on 2 blazers, they won't wear and spend their time crushed in the bottom of their bags.

I don't agree with them

HerBeatitude Sat 19-Sep-09 15:08:23

I don't argue with the "strict uniform improves behaviour" argument. It might be regrettable and incomprehensible, but there is some evidence to show that it's true. But why be unreasonable about uniform? You can be strict and reasonable at the same time and I just struggle to understand what they are trying to teach children by being very obviously unreasonable.

I was talking to someone whose DS is at a school where they are not allowed to ask to take their blazer off. They have to wait until the teacher tells them they can. Of course, the teacher was wearing a light blouse and didn't realise how hot it was. At nearly the end of the lesson she realised and said "oh my goodness, I'm so sorry, please any of you who want to, take your blazers off, I'm wearing a blouse so I forgot how hot it is - sorry everyone".

Nice reasonable teacher, but what a bloody stupid rule that they are not even allowed to politely ask if they may take their blazers off. I just can't understand what they hope to achieve with this sort of thing. (that particular school is in special measures. hmm

Littlepurpleprincess Sat 19-Sep-09 15:13:23

I think it's a control issue tbh, and it's crap. It shows no respect for the child, so how will the child learn to respect others?

I think if teachers spent a little less time fannying about with uniforms, and a little time more engaging with the children, a few kids might actually learn something!

bronzebeard Sat 19-Sep-09 15:47:13

They do say the worse the uniform the better the school

I'm just glad I didn't have to wear the culottes the girls had at dhs school

HerBeatitude Sun 20-Sep-09 18:10:11

I can believe it's a control issue, but I'm waiting for someone to come and tell me that it's reasonable and why.

Gumbo Sun 20-Sep-09 18:30:35

I went to school in South Africa where obviously it's ridiculously hot - and we had to have our blazers on at all times, and the top bottons of our shirts permanently done up, as apparently it made the whole school 'look smart' hmm Unsurprisingly, pupils used to faint from the heat on a daily basis!

tatt Sun 20-Sep-09 18:40:30

What I don't understand is why students must wear strict uniform - but teachers do not have to wear a suit and tie. If uniform is so important then the teachers can wear suits and ties in the heat too. Not that's it's that hot often - but it does annoy me when it is and the teachers are not wearing ties.

campion Mon 21-Sep-09 13:38:03

Yep, it's a control issue, HerBeatitude, at least in the places which don't allow them to take them off. I worked in one and also thought it stupid, along with the insistence on ties and how many stripes they had to have showing hmm. The amount of time that can be wasted spent sorting it out with unco-operative 15 year olds just isn't worth it IMO.

DSs first headteacher spent an extraordinary amount of time issuing dictats about the colour of girls' hairbands, scrunchies etc. which he could well have spent on improving their education.

I'm now liberated from such nonsense - there is a blazer somewhere on the uniform list but I've seen about 2! - and they seem to behave just fine.

The whole thing comes down to using a bit of common sense.

edam Mon 21-Sep-09 13:45:33

I'm in favour of the argument that enforcing uniform gives teenagers something safe to rebel against - I'd rather they were arguing about skirt length or shade of tights than anything more exciting.

But some headteachers/schools do take it to absurd levels. Clearly enjoy exercising power a little too much. Or have issues about gender stereotyping - there's always at least one story about some boy with long hair every year...

AMumInScotland Mon 21-Sep-09 13:49:12

I can't think of any justification for them not being allowed to ask if they may take their blazers off - as you say, the teacher may not always think to offer.

Hulababy Mon 21-Sep-09 13:56:21

I do agree that uniform can help behaviour. However it must be an enforced uniform for that to be achieved. Certainly that has been my experience.

However, I do not agree with the whole blazer on in hot weather, or no coats in the winter. That is just daft. And a rule that I would challenge as a aprent actually.

DD's school has a uniform with blazer, etc. But the blazer is a jacket only and is never worn in school at all, only on way to/from school, to sports centre, swimming, etc. They also have a winter coat, treated as above, and in wet weather than can weather a waterproof sport;'s jacket (school one) or a cagoul over instead.

SolidGoldBrass Mon 21-Sep-09 13:59:59

THe point of stupid uniform rules is to exert control over children (this is why superstitions have so many stupid taboos,, too)and make them know their place ie subject to the whims of adults. The idea is that you get the kids used to obeying, no matter what and this is supposed to be 'good'.
TBH that level of petty stupidity around uniform rules would put me right off a school. It would suggest that the staff or at least the heads are inadequate control-freaky tossers.

HerBeatitude Mon 21-Sep-09 18:51:30

Well yes that's what I thought.

But I am mystified as to what logic the school management are using and I was wondering if there is any justification for it. I find it very hard to believe that in this day and age, schools go in for rules like this and I just want to get some idea of what the people who work in schools with rules like this, think they are achieving and why it is a Good Thing.

Am waiting for some of the teachers to come on and give me the rationale. So far nobody has yet said why the rules exist, apart from for control. And nobody has contradicted the idea that it is just for control. Surely there must be someone out there who can cogently argue in favour of these things? Otherwise, why are schools still doing this?

HerBeatitude Tue 22-Sep-09 20:49:02

Bumping for anyone who might be able to present a positive spin on this.

grin

cornsillk Tue 22-Sep-09 20:50:16

Thank God for that rule I say. Ds would have lost several blazers by now without it.

Heated Tue 22-Sep-09 21:01:29

I can't get that irate about a strict uniform policy, probably because I work in a school that has one, but putting 30 people together in close quarters in the height of summer with no air con is imo unreasonable working conditions.

HerBeatitude Tue 22-Sep-09 21:07:20

Cornsilk well done - you're the only one so far who has managed to find something positive.

<Hands Cornsilk the prize>

HerBeatitude Tue 22-Sep-09 21:07:55

But wait.

Is that the reason for the rule then?

So that children won't lose their blazers?

If not, hand me back that prize.

Morosky Tue 22-Sep-09 21:21:30

Have not read all the thread as I am popping in during a marking break.

I teach in a school with very strict uniform rules, we would not make them wear blazers/jumpers in such conditions though. We are quite twee and will have an official announcement from above of "Today is a warm day so you can undo your top button" grin If I am ever uncomfortably hot or teaching in a t shirt and know it is warm I always say to my students take off your blazer - we have jumpers insteads. I would not obect if a student asked me to remove their jumper, it would seem daft to do so.

I do think that strict uniform, conduct rules create order which in turn affects discipline and therefore learning. I have taught in schools that did not "sweat the small stuff" and they were chaotic places where pupils thought they could do what they wanted. If you walk around our school it is calm and purposeful, in part because of the many little rules in place. ( Off the top of my head, top button always done up (unles it is a declared hot day) school bags in lockers and students carry books, jumpers on, correct staircases for up and down etc) B

So yes it is control but not pointless control.

I was discussing this very matter with my tutees today - over haircuts.

Morosky Tue 22-Sep-09 21:27:23

Tatt - Our staff are expected to dress in a business like manner, as are the sixth form. We would be spoken to if we did not.

As a teacher if I were choosing a school for my daughter I would look at uniform, if it were not worn properly I would not be impressed. TBH I would rather see no uniform than one that is not enforced. Children need clear instructions, you are sending mixed signals if you say we have a uniform but we don't care how it is worn.

Campion because we are so strict about our uniform we spend very little time having to enforce it, they know we mean business. It is schools who are lax on uniform that have to keep returning to the issue.

HerBeatitude Tue 22-Sep-09 21:32:58

I find your arguments plausible Morosky. But what about this situation where children are not actually allowed to politely ask if they may remove their blazer/ jumper? Is there any reason for that?

HerBeatitude Tue 22-Sep-09 21:34:57

Interesting that you say schools which aren't strict about it are the ones which have to keep going on about it.

That hasn't been my experience, I went to 2 secondary schools, one was a sink school which was v. strict and constantly giving detention about uniform infringements and one was an excellent ex-grammar turned comp, where they were quite casual about it but had v. good behaviour overall.

But I accept that my experience is anecdotal and may not be representatative.

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