TO UNIFORM OR NOT TO UNIFORM, THAT IS THE QUESTION

First Day Of School

A common question in education is whether it is better to have school uniforms or not. But why? School uniforms are not a new idea – they have been around in one form or another for quite a number of centuries. Read further to find out more.

The UK, South Africa and a number of Asian nations have their students wear school uniforms that conform to the uniform policy of their school. In Europe, it varies whether you have uniforms or not.

In America, on average state schools don’t have any uniforms at all. But many are beginning to phase them in. Nearly 22 per cent of public schools in the United States required uniforms in 2015-16 — up from almost 12 per cent in 1999-2000, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

And the rest of the world is split on this issue.

To uniform?

The top argument for uniforms is that they help level the playing field between students who may come from different social classes or financial backgrounds. They also help foster a sense of belonging and unity.

And research does show that mandatory school uniforms positively impact student achievement, attendance and behaviour, as well as reducing the presence of gangs in public schools. Students don’t differentiate between each other based on who is wearing the most expensive fashion pieces or even just the most varied clothing. School administrators in America say uniforms also help eliminate gang-related styles and logos.

There is also a safety argument – uniforms help show straight away if there is a stranger within the school grounds.

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