School uniform is a regular type of clothing for students during their time at school and at official school activities outside the school. The largest European country where there is a school uniform is the UK. In the UK, the school uniform is still popular and indispensable feature for the students of the British schools. Boy and girl uniforms consist of the different elements of clothing that make the contrast between genders. How many arguments and different opinions are there around school uniforms? Some believe that the school uniform is necessary. Others have the opinion that it harms the harmonious development of the individual. However, it is obvious that arguments for wearing school uniforms provide evidence of the benefits for the learners. School uniforms can provide a discipline, escape the competition among learners, stop the judgment of how students look and increase the security within the school area.
In some countries, there are school uniforms that are standard for all schools. In some cases, it could be the option that each school has a little different detail in the design or making use of specific badges. However, there are many schools that do not provide for their learners the rule to wear a school uniform. The usefulness of the school uniform has been an issue for a debate for a long time. There are different opinions about how school uniform can improve the academic performance or not. Many parents under different reasons do not want to see their children wearing school uniforms. However, there are several strong arguments that protect the decisions of wearing uniforms for school.
First of all, the school uniform could escape the judgment on how students look. Some could argue that no matter how students dress, they will always find the way to judge each other. Students may find another way to make fun of their peers, like discussing each other's hair style or color, height, weight, accessories, etc. However, the introduction of the school uniforms into youth society would definitely increase the equality in the schools. It is usually so that a student whose parents are not rich could not feel themselves comfortable among other kids in the class. The school uniform would decrease bulling. There will be no strong division between poor and rich students. It would help students to communicate better with each other. The school uniform eliminates the possibility of competition between students' clothing styles. It significantly reduces the visual difference between students from families of different financial conditions (Freyer).
School uniforms, as well as any uniforms, discipline, leading to cohesion, promote the development of the students and a sense of community. It integrates the idea that they should work as one team and achieve goals together. The rule to wear school uniform is more likely to combine students into one, and then separate into several divisions. The school uniform highlights to what school the students belong. "When a student wears a shirt with the school's symbol, everyone knows where the student studies, a thing which may help to create a feeling of belonging and school pride" (McCall). The single standard of the school uniform, if the decision is taken at the state level, ensures that the clothing of students will meet sanitary requirements and adversely affect their health. If the policy of the country or a particular region is provided with a single school uniform, it could reduce the cost of production. It will maintain low prices, which is essential for poor families. "One of the most profound benefits of having schools uniforms is that they are highly cost effective and relieve the parents from the burden of buying fashionable and expensive clothes every now and then" (McCall). Some could argue that the same clothing style for all learners of the educational facility would destroy the individuality of each student. However, it is a good way to distract the learners from their individuality in appearance and direct students on the educational process.
One of the main reasons to wear the school uniform is the safety of the students. Practice shows that it often happens that students come from other schools to cause trouble. The school uniform could solve this problem as an outsider would be distinguished by the different clothing style. It would be easier for school authority to keep alien students away from school. Some could tell that it is not hard to borrow uniforms from friends. However, it is not that obvious as it seems. Nobody would like to share their clothes for such purpose.
There are several arguments against wearing school uniform at educational facilities. The uniform deprives students the opportunity to express their individuality in clothing; the requirement to wear the form is in itself a form of violence against the person; for example, the school uniform could be too expensive for poor families, etc. However, if we take a closer look at all these arguments, we will see that many of them are exaggerated. The solution for the school to have a school uniform for their students is a better option in creating unity and escaping safety problems. "Uniforms would promote school unity, lessen the economic and social barriers between students and reduce peer pressure over trendy clothes" (Marko). The proper clothing style will help for students to focus on the educational process and show better academic performance.
School uniforms are believed to make classrooms more orderly and disciplined all over the world. This is one of the reasons why they are widely used in public schools. According to most of the politicians and administrators, use of school uniforms improves academic achievements of an institution (Brunsma). People who support the use of uniforms in schools suggest that they have largest impacts on noncognitive skills amongst students' self-discipline and esteem. Research has carried out by Gentile and Scott indicate that formation of noncognitive skills is just as important as academic ability on students' future social and employment successes (Gentile and Scott 1). Uniforms have impacts on student achievement, attendance and behavior. Schools in various localities are given the autonomy to determine the code of uniforms their students wear. They formulate uniform policies that can trigger better performance of an institution.
Uniforms have an effect on student academics and behavior. They certainly have a direct impact on their safety. They help in distinguishing a stranger or a civilian from a student in an academic set-up. They make identification of strange characters easy from student populations who may be out to cause harm. Secondly, uniforms, certainly, ensure that authorities are accorded respect by the students which can, in turn, improve their behaviors and limit instances whereby classes are disrupted by strange unruly elements in school. Thirdly, students, particular adolescents are always under pressure to dress decently from their peers. By adopting same dress codes by all students, academic institutions limit this pressure on adolescents (Gentile and Scott 2).
Uniforms can at times affect student results or behavioral outcomes. They are generally thought to be restrictive by opponents of their use. They can make students rebellious as a way of showing their displeasure with academic administrations. Student abilities can be affected by various codes of uniforms. Some can significantly lower or increase their morale levels which directly impact on their dedication to studying. They make students with lower abilities to remain in public schools instead of pursuing better ambitions in chartered schools. Uniforms also have been found to restrict the ability of students to express themselves by reducing self-esteem levels (Gillam and Scott 3). Opponents of uniform use in schools also argue that they restrict students' rights as well as imposing financial hardships on parents. School uniforms traders take an opportunity to make a killing when uniforms are in demand by selling at exorbitant rates. Provision of subsidies is a good way to caution parents against opportunistic traders.
Uniforms generally improve students' outcomes, particularly girls. Attendance levels of female students mainly those in middle or high school levels increase when schools adopt standard uniforms for all students. Uniforms further improve girl and boy discipline standards. However, it should be noted that when new administrators are posted to new schools, they in most cases change uniform policies of their new workplaces. Principals sometimes attach their success on the type of uniforms worn by the students. They believe that uniform policies adopted by an institution are directly related to performance. Students read a policy that changes their dress code in two ways. Some see it as an opportunity to redefine their goals and ambitions while others can rebel against that decision if they deem it as one of the overindulgences by the administration. They use that opportunity to vent their anger and show disapproval to school rules. Therefore, before Principals change dress code of an institution they should adequately evaluate the impact of their action on performance and discipline (Gillam and Scott 12).