This post was originally published on Labour Teachers here on 9th September 2016.
Uniforms are part and parcel of school life for the vast majority of us. They are often quite arbitrary and they differ from school to school. They are something that, for some reason, never stop being discussed.
They can be expensive, I’ve recently seen these costs as a parent for the first time and I understand them. But they aren’t a great deal more than other clothes.
So why is it they have hit the news again?
Well that’s because a school crackdown has caused outrage, as usual. What I imagine has happened is that the school has either brought in a new uniform requirement or, the more likely scenario, the school has decided to ensure that students follow the uniform policy.
It seems like basic common sense to me. If a school has a uniform policy, it should be enforced. If you attend a school with a uniform policy you should follow that policy. If your child attends a school with a uniform policy you should ensure they are following said policy.
It’s strange, I’ve worked in many jobs which have had many different dress codes. Some simple uniforms (a pub branded t shirt) some full uniforms (a branded suit and tie), some strict dress codes (suit and tie) and some more lax (shirt and tie). I’ve never thought to try and get round it.
I have, however, heard every excuse under the sun from students.
Following uniform policies is important. It’s the opening gambit. If you have a uniform policy and don’t enforce it you are saying to the world “our policies mean nothing” and inviting students to break the behaviour policy, the attendance policy etc etc etc.