Do you feel that instituting a school uniform policy would increase student success in your school?'s Teacher Poll of the Week
Do you feel that instituting a school uniform policy would increase student success in your school?

View Results

A very small majority of teachers taking this poll feel that a school uniform policy would increase student success in their school. However, the difference between the two groups of respondents was not significant.

The debate over school uniforms and whether they affect student grades and behaviour is not a new one. Uniform proponents can point to many benefits when trying to implement a uniform policy. Some people feel that students will take school more seriously if we instil a feeling of professionalism in students by making them dress for school much like their parents dress for work. It also promotes self-discipline which is invaluable in a school setting. Disagreements or bullying arising from brand name clothing or current trends is minimized. No student will feel disadvantaged or ostracised due to what they are wearing.

School spirit and a sense of belonging are also increased when schools implement a uniform policy. A sense of school pride which can be seriously lacking in some students is bolstered by wearing uniforms. This, of course, would only be the case if each school were able to implement their own uniform. Some countries have standard uniforms in all schools across the country, creating a much more homogenized school culture, rather than individual school identities.

Opponents to the idea of school uniforms object to the lack of individual expression allowed within the policy. Students are unable to express themselves through their mode of dress and in a culture where individual thought is valued this seems counterproductive. While this may be true, many schools without uniforms still have a dress code to prevent indecent or overly revealing clothes from being worn.

The other concern detractors have is the discipline problems that school uniforms pose to teachers. Classroom teachers often find they spend time on a daily basis policing the uniform policy. Students will adjust uniforms as much as possible in an attempt to make an individual statement or simply to make the clothing more comfortable. Ties are undone, skirts are shortened and shirts are left untucked. Valuable instruction time is lost as teachers insist students adhere to the dress code.

In the end, evidence has been delivered on both sides of the argument with no definite conclusions. The choice to implement a school uniform policy is a difficult one and will likely be the subject of debate for years to come.