We often see parents complaining about school uniform in the media. But on the whole, parents are in favour of uniform with many seeing it as an important form of discipline that needs to be fully utilised.
Over recent years, behaviour and setting traditional standards has been rising up the agenda for both schools and parents.
In a survey we carried out with YouGov in 2012, 79% of parents who have children at a state school where uniform is required said they believed school uniform encourages better behaviour.
Teachers reported that uniform is a useful tool for communicating school values, giving children a sense of belonging, and generating discipline. It also makes it easier for teachers to keep tabs on their pupils outside of the school gates. They said that wearing recognisable uniform is a helpful deterrent against bad conduct in public as they are easily reportable.
Parents also felt that uniform was a practical solution for school-wear with 89% of respondents agreeing that uniform constitutes better value than allowing them to wear their own clothes and 83% saying that uniform is more convenient than children wearing own clothes.
Supporters of uniform say that wearing uniform is a ‘classical conditioning’ process which places children in the right frame of mind for learning. When children put school uniform on, they understand from an early age, they will be going to school to learn and concentrate, rather than simply to play.
David Burgess, Chairman of the Schoolwear Association says “We know that a quality specialised uniform can create a strong identity for a school. We firmly believe that school uniform is part of our cultural heritage; it provides the wearer with many benefits including a ‘clothes discipline’ and the right mindset for school. A distinctive uniform can promote an invaluable sense of community within schools, aiding security and a sense of belonging, as well as improving attendance and general behaviour. We are happy that our research has shown that teachers and parents also recognise its value for their children and want to use it to its best advantage.”
All figures, unless otherwise stated are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2239 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 16th – 19th March 2012. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).