Thursday, 3 September 2015

Uniform rules?

Have you sent your little ones off to school this morning in their shiny new school uniforms? I have. Well, in the case of the two little ones, that is. The big one doesn't require much by way of a send off these days...

But I digress. I was asked what I thought about school uniform the other day (ff. 20mins in if you want a listen). And my answer was surprisingly hard to clarify. I'm a fan, I suppose, up to a point. But while I think the elaborate fetishes some schools go for (there's one round here that makes boys wear bow tie... with grey blazers trimmed with red piping!) and I think the money-grabbing schemes that make you buy from the school or from their 'chosen supplier' (at a premium!) ought to be challenged under monopolies legislation, on the whole and within reason, school uniform is a good thing.

It's a good thing from a teacher's point of view as its a great leveller. You notice (or should) what you need to notice - ability, aptitude, attitude, personality - with everything else reduced to the level of background noise. I imagine a similar thing happens at a nudist colony. Actually, perhaps not.

For parents, it's pretty vital. After a summer holiday of choosing your own outfit or else wearing the same one until it walks into the washing machine of its own accord I'm looking forward to the ease of having the uniform ready and waiting each morning. Getting the kids to school on time can be difficult enough without the extra hassle of adding choice to the mix. And a four year old whose choice would undoubtedly include fairy wings and a tiara might not be awfully practical or, indeed, conducive to learning.

So, where do you stand on the great school uniform debate? Are you for it or against it? Should school be a sartorial free-for-all or is it better to have one look for all?

I'm still little unsure, to be honest. I'm just delighted they don't make state primary pupils wear a cap any longer. But they did. Look -

Here's what all the best-dressed boys at Appleton Road Primary were wearing... a long, long time ago! 

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