While school uniforms still remain scarce in Canadian public schools, there are many countries around the world, including the United Kingdom, Japan and Thailand, that recognize the benefits of school uniforms for all ages.
Shirts, ties, and blazers are the norm for a lot of these schoolchildren, while others wear an interpretation of their country’s traditional garments.
Here at Pear Tree School, we have a much more practical and modern combination of polo shirts and pants here. Nevertheless, the advantages of wearing school uniforms – whatever they consist of – are plentiful and well-documented.
School uniforms mean that all students wear the same clothing, helping to level out the playing field. This removes any preconceived ideas about what to wear, allowing for greater group cohesion and commonality. As a result, uniforms demonstrate a clear message of equality.
Modern schools introducing trousers for girls is an important part of this equality, showing that all children – regardless of gender, socioeconomic background, or otherwise – are all the same and come from the same starting point.
Seeing their peers wearing the same uniform as them also encourages children to develop a stronger concept of group identity.
As such, school uniforms allow students to feel part of something bigger than themselves. This, in turn, helps children recognize the value of working together towards a common goal rather than focusing on their individual objectives.
School uniforms help teachers and school administrators identify who is a student and who isn’t, even from a distance. This makes it easier for them to keep students safe and away from unauthorized areas. Likewise, staff and students can soon identify anyone on the school grounds without a uniform as an outsider or possible intruder by their lack of uniform.
Increased safety is also a reason why school uniforms are good for field trips as well as on-site learning. Children wearing school uniforms are easier to spot and keep track of among large crowds, making the chance of a child wandering off without a teacher noticing far less likely.
When schools allow children to wear their own clothes to attend school, this creates the need for a long list of unacceptable clothing variations that staff must check for every day.
Such dress codes are often harsher for girls than for boys, with everything from skirt lengths to shoulder straps coming under scrutiny. What’s more, enforcing dress code policies often means sending children to the office for administrators to determine whether they’ve violated the code or not. Not only does this create an atmosphere of distrust and defiance within the school, but it also wastes a lot of everyone’s time.
School uniforms avoid a lot of this policing by creating a standardized dress code that’s easy for all children to follow. Without any possibility of misunderstanding what is and isn’t appropriate, children won’t spend time awaiting decisions about their clothing choices and will be in the classroom learning instead.
One of the biggest advantages of wearing school uniforms is how it can cut down on this kind of bullying.
While wearing a school uniform creates a sense of community and equality, allowing children to choose their own school clothes can create divisions and highlight disparities. Unfortunately, a child’s clothing choices can offer school bullies more motives to make fun of them, talk about them with other students, or even hurt them in a physical way.
School uniforms help to reduce the chance for this by making everyone wear the same clothes. Students also have to wear the same uniform every day. This means that socioeconomic differences between students won’t be as obvious as they might be if a child were to wear the same non-uniform clothes every day.
School uniforms are a godsend for parents trying to get their children ready for school.
Mornings can be chaotic enough without the added pressure of choosing or double-checking your child’s wardrobe choices for a day at school. In contrast, when your children wear school uniforms, there’s no chance of forcing your child to change out of their unsuitable clothes or waiting for them as they pick out an outfit.
Allowing children free rein over their school clothing choices can also create issues with health and safety, while their choices might not be the most practical for the weather either.
School uniforms make sure that children dress appropriately, in clothes suited to a day of learning. A simple school uniform avoids any chance of them tripping over their must-have baggy jeans, dipping long sleeves in their art project, or freezing in the playground in a skimpy dress.
Looking at what other students are wearing or worrying about what they’re wearing can be a big distraction for children. And when fashion trends and keeping up with their peers in the style stakes becomes more of a priority than paying attention in class, a child’s progress could easily suffer.
By removing fashion as a distraction, school uniforms help keep children focused on their work.
School uniforms encourage students to learn the importance of dressing for success and are thought to contribute in a positive way to their attitude and behaviour in school.
As they develop an association between their uniform and learning, simply putting on their uniform helps a child get into the right mindset, preparing them for a day of working hard and focusing.
As this list shows, the benefits of school uniforms touch on a lot of the different issues and concerns facing children and their parents today.
From reducing bullying to increasing safety, cutting distractions to encouraging cohesion, it’s safe to say that convincing people why uniforms are good is an easy task.
For more information or to schedule a visit, feel free to contact us today!