/ School uniform

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Pullhard 10 Jul 2019

Reading this article https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-48924927 made me think why do we bother with the uniforms, seems very out dated and out of touch with the modern world we live in. Furthermore it causes fiscal burdens for parents and from memory they’re horrible to wear

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Dax H 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Pullhard:

Though I think £200 is taking the piss for a uniform I think they are important. We didn't have much money when I was a kid and I got the piss taken out of me relentlessly on no uniform days because my clothes didn't have the right labels. If uniforms were abolished it would really hi light the haves and have nots. I used to hate no uniform day's.

Also I think uniforms foster a sense of school identity. 

3
girlymonkey 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Dax H:

Everyone always knew who the haves and have nots were. Those in the tatty hand down uniforms, those with the uncool bags, those with the uncool shoes etc. Uniform is irrelevant, kids are horrible and will bully for any, or no, reason. 

In an age where we need to encourage kids to be more active, why do we put them in 'proper' shoes which are hard to run in, shirts which are expected to stay buttoned up so are uncomfortable, ties which get caught in things and blazers which you can't lift your arms in?! Let's let them dress as kids, in such a way that they can play and be comfortable! 

As for school identity, why does that even matter? In our high school we used to wear the tie with the thin end out and really short, pull the coloured threads out of the tie, fight the teachers tooth and nail over blazers etc. There was certainly no pride in it! I used to cut the stitching under the arms of my blazer so that I could move freely. 

What a waste of time and money!

33
Ridge 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Dax H:

I think you have a point, as I'm from a similar background, however it's a licence to print money for the suppliers.

It's probably more sensible to specify colour of trousers and shirts for example, although then you'll get expensive labels, (and ostracising the poor kids), creeping in.

SenzuBean 10 Jul 2019
In reply to girlymonkey:

> In an age where we need to encourage kids to be more active, why do we put them in 'proper' shoes which are hard to run in, shirts which are expected to stay buttoned up so are uncomfortable, ties which get caught in things and blazers which you can't lift your arms in?! Let's let them dress as kids, in such a way that they can play and be comfortable! 

Overseas it's usual for school uniforms to be just a collared shirts and plain trousers/shorts/skirts and only for formal events would the formal blazer and tie uniform be deployed (I never owned one, I think the band kids bought them though).
I think having everyone in uniform is probably a good way to reduce distractions for the children while learning - it's already clear how we're going to waste a whole generation's education with ubiquitous mobile phones and social media (I suppose you could already argue it's all ruined anyway, so what does it matter).

girlymonkey 10 Jul 2019
In reply to SenzuBean:

When you say "overseas", where do you mean? Europe doesn't bother with them and it seems to work. 

Surely girls wearing "skirts" which don't cover their bums is a bigger distraction than which jeans someone is wearing?!

I could agree with a dress code where you had a certain colour of polo shirt and joggy bottoms if it was really necessary, but I don't think it is. 

Also, in areas where you still have sectarian thuggery going on, it emphasises who is from which "side", which I don't think helps either. (Although that is a whole other issue, I would personally end the nonsense of separate schools)

5
summo 10 Jul 2019
In reply to SenzuBean:

> Overseas it's usual for school uniforms to be just a collared shirts and ...

I presume you are ignoring Finland, sweden, Norway, Denmark.. which as a rule have no uniform at all. 

> I think having everyone in uniform is probably a good way to reduce distractions

If kids from the age of zero see everyone dresses differently, have different hair cuts, shoes etc.. then those difference stand out less, but if like the UK you make non uniform day an annual charity event, then yes of course you are focusing on them.

>  it's already clear how we're going to waste a whole generation's education with ubiquitous mobile phones and social media (I suppose you could already argue it's all ruined anyway, so what does it matter).

Certainly at our kids Swedish school mobile phones from age 0-16 go to the teacher at the start of the day and are locked away until home time. If anyone needs to stay in touch there is a perfectly functional school telephone and if you need IT for research the school provides that any way.  

The one thing clothing related they do expect is for it to be seasonal. Because unless it's lightning they are outside every break year round. 

Post edited at 07:22
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Hooo 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Pullhard:

I agree. My daughter's school insists on blazers year round and tights from September until May, regardless of the weather. Cue a fight every morning while we try and get her to put her hated tights on when it's another scorching day. She runs hot anyway and would go bare legged all winter if she could. It's ridiculous that everyone should wear the same at all times, taking no account of weather and individuals.

birdie num num 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Pullhard:

My mum once bought me a brand new blazer to start the year, instead of the usual second hand ones. It had a label inside saying ‘slightly imperfect’ so she got it really cheap.

It wasn’t too bad either, it was just that one arm was a bit shorter than the other two.

1
Hooo 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Dax H:

My school was a comprehensive with a mixture of very middle class and poor pupils. We didn't have uniform, and as I recall it was more the geeky kids that got the piss taken out of for not knowing the trendy stuff to wear. 

They let the pupils vote on whether to introduce uniforms, and it went overwhelmingly against.

The Wild Scallion 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Pullhard:

Working in Education my personal view is that uniforms in the traditional sense of embroidered blazers , ties/ cravats and such things aren't required unless it's the norm for the school and students are use to this situation.  

I do think however that students should have a dress code in the sense of a sanctioned colour jumper, shirt and trousers, skirts , shoes etc

This isn't to much to ask and should not be expensive for parents .

It as said above gives a sense of school identity and can stop bullying and singling out of students due to clothing choices.

I think this is a middle ground that should sensibly be employed in schools.

Just my opinion of course.

TWS

Post edited at 08:22
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summo 10 Jul 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

> It as said above gives a sense of school identity and can stop bullying and singling out of students due to clothing choices.

It must be a joy to work in a school where every pupil is 100% committed and there is zero bullying.  

10
wercat 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Pullhard:

As a software consultant in another life long ago  I was severely told off for using fiscal (ie non government finances) in the wrong context by someone in Midland Bank!

School uniforms should be subsidised and not over tax parents.  I think they are good because they prevent poorer kids from being shewn up by other kids wearing designer clothes and of course it imposes an even bigger burden of supplying varied clothes for school use.

In reply to Pullhard:

Totally agree. 

In Sheffield we don't have uniforms at certain schools (a hang on form the 70s). In fact my three children have never worn a uniform. I was a governor of one of the schools and the only clothing issues we had was the annual voting down of the small number of parents who tried to reintroduce uniforms. There were only ever minor issues with children and clothes. The idea that uniform makes these go away is flawed by the fact that teachers spend easily as much time policing correct uniform compared to high skirts in a non-uniform environment.

No where else in Europe has school uniform in fact the very idea would be seen as ridiculous.

Alan

2
summo 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Pullhard:

Uniforms don't stop bullying it's a myth. Many posters are living in dream land sending their little angel off to school in a blazer thinking it's protecting them. 

What football team do you support?

Nice gym shoes?

Where did you get that school bag?

What street do you live on?

Are those spots on your face?

Eaten too many pies?

Are you a ginger?

Where was it you went on holiday again?

That's a nice bike!

Your parents do what for a job?

Is that a stutter I hear?

Not so good at sport are you? 

john arran 10 Jul 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

I see most bullying on the grounds of lack of the 'right' labels to be a symptom of the misplaced values in our society rather than an inevitable consequence of childhood behaviour. Requiring school uniforms in response to this is akin to putting expensive and uncomfortable sticking plasters on a gangrenous limb.

The Wild Scallion 10 Jul 2019
In reply to john arran:

> I see most bullying on the grounds of lack of the 'right' labels to be a symptom of the misplaced values in our society rather than an inevitable consequence of childhood behaviour. Requiring school uniforms in response to this is akin to putting expensive and uncomfortable sticking plasters on a gangrenous limb.

I'm sorry is a dress code a uniform ?

The Wild Scallion 10 Jul 2019
In reply to summo:

> It must be a joy to work in a school where every pupil is 100% committed and there is zero bullying.  

ha ha ha .

Laughable  move along...

Post edited at 08:55
neilh 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

By the same token I have seen school children immaculately dressed in India and other Far Eastern countries where the poverty level is far far worse than in Europe. It is considered a source of pride.

There are some of  schools in the deprived parts of London which have used uniforms as one of the  tools to drive up standards.

It is really an issue for the Head and their team and the ethos of that school. If the Head wants to use it as part of school ethos, then let them. If not, that is fine.

But then parents should not complain if their children go to that school when they know all this upfront.That always hacks me off. If you do not like the standards then go elsewhere.

Post edited at 08:57
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summo 10 Jul 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

> ha ha ha .

> Laughable  move along...

So you are denial then. Pretending uniform is eradicating bullying and improvjng education. 

It's a miracle kids from countries without uniform can even string a sentence together in any of the two or three languages they speak fluently. 

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john arran 10 Jul 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

> I'm sorry is a dress code a uniform ?

Not sure how your comment relates to my post, but a strict dress code could in some cases be seen as a uniform but more likely wouldn't be.

Most businesses and offices will have some kind of dress code, even if only poorly specified, simply to prevent distractions caused by inappropriate clothing. On the other hand, a strict dress code that requires suits and ties for clerical workers (as used to be common) is a symptom of the same misplaced values.

neilh 10 Jul 2019
In reply to wercat:

They are if you are hard up.Most schools have a hardship fund or alternatives.

The Wild Scallion 10 Jul 2019
In reply to summo:

> So you are denial then. Pretending uniform is eradicating bullying and improvjng education. 

> It's a miracle kids from countries without uniform can even string a sentence together in any of the two or three languages they speak fluently. 

I made no such claim.

please re read my post.  Specifically

"It as said above gives a sense of school identity and CAN stop bullying and singling out of students due to clothing choices."

Nothing about eradicating bullying altogether .

The Wild Scallion 10 Jul 2019
In reply to john arran:

> Not sure how your comment relates to my post, but a strict dress code could in some cases be seen as a uniform but more likely wouldn't be.

> Most businesses and offices will have some kind of dress code, even if only poorly specified, simply to prevent distractions caused by inappropriate clothing. On the other hand, a strict dress code that requires suits and ties for clerical workers (as used to be common) is a symptom of the same misplaced values.

I'm sorry I inputted anything due to the amount of hostility I have received from you and Summo.

have a nice day John.

summo 10 Jul 2019
In reply to john arran:

One of the best loved and most respected teachers in our kids school is a guy with shoulder length purple hair and clothes like the Prince of darkness. 

He loves his job, the head loves his work and kids have 100% respect. He's still there part time now semi retired in his 60s. 

How you look is only a distraction if kids have been conditioned to everyone looking like clones for years before, if they grow up with it they view it differently. 

Post edited at 09:05
Jon Stewart 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

> In Sheffield we don't have uniforms at certain schools (a hang on form the 70s). In fact my three children have never worn a uniform.

I'm one of those kids (not yours, specifically) that went to liberal Sheffield schools and never wore a uniform. Obviously there was bullying in the school, but I haven't got any memories of any really horrible bullying as a victim, or witnessing any (does that mean I was a bully? Seems unlikely since I was gay, good at maths and bad at sport). There were strong anti-bullying policies and I definitely don't recall bullying about clothes. The reason could be that the school was extremely diverse - there were probably roughly equal numbers of middle class and working class kids, there were Somali refugees, Pakistani and Chinese kids, British black kids, etc, all dressed very differently. You'd have to wear something pretty weird (e.g. gender transgression) to stand out and get bullied for it!

john arran 10 Jul 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

Que ?

summo 10 Jul 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

> Nothing about eradicating bullying altogether .

So you accept kids will bully regardless. Thank you. 

Hostility? You mean having your viewpoint challenged?

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duchessofmalfi 10 Jul 2019

I went to a school without uniforms, there was no bullying on grounds of dress or class, there was no strife over fashion.  Main observation was everyone dressed like slobs.

Since sending kids to schools with uniforms I can also observe there's no bullying on grounds of dress or class but there is more strife over fashion, constant anxiety about wearing clothes not suitable for the weather or sport, constant anxiety that minor flaws in dress code will be utilised for example making punishments by staff unable to exercise control without recourse to a rulebook and that it definitely discriminates against girls. Everyone dresses like slobs and the uniforms are, well, uniformly disgusting.

I've heard people say that it is so much easier with uniforms (in the morning, not choosing what to wear) - bollocks to that the amount of faff and stress trying to arrange a uniform completely outweighs that.

Now I have nothing against uniforms.  If you want to dress your kids up as some crap imitation of an office drone dressed in a suit from suitland, that is your privilege as a parent.  However, I do have an objection to you deciding that someone else's kids need to do the same.

So let's have a school uniform but make it optional no one has ever been made cleverer by putting on a tie.

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Jon Stewart 10 Jul 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

> I'm sorry I inputted anything due to the amount of hostility I have received from you and Summo.

I don't think John was being hostile...and Summo has a diagnosis of "keyboard misanthropy" that makes everything he ever types come off arsey, it's nothing personal.

wintertree 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Pullhard:

School uniforms are a very interesting issue – there is no shortage of people in the UK who will rant and rave against them. Then switch to somewhere like the USA which is more culturally similar to us than the Nordics, but has no uniforms in state schools. There, there is no shortage of parents who rent and rave against the status quo and want uniforms.

I’d like us to be more culturally similar to the Nordics mind, but I don’t think adopting practises like no uniform will do that.  It needs a more core change.

I am somewhat ambivalent seeing the pros and cons of each. I think that a dress code rather than a uniform policy is a nice middle ground. Such a dress code should be gender neutral and should allow choice when it comes to personal comfort and the climate.  So, basically it should be like a sensible workplace.

One bugbear of mine is when teachers can have vastly different dress to the students, for example allowing facial piercings that the children are banned from.  There’s no place for hypocrisy in the classroom and all the counter arguments I’ve heard boil down to thinking it’s good to teach new people their place as drones to the system.

Post edited at 09:22
JIMBO 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

I did my teacher training in Sheffield and recall how the no uniform thing worked really well. The kids seemed so much more mature than in other areas with uniform and the clothing bullying seemed to have almost died out by secondary school. They just seemed to have accepted their own uniform of jeans and a t-shirt.

gethin_allen 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Pullhard:

My school had a fairly simple school uniform, no blazers just a set colour trousers shirt and tie with an optional polo shirt for summer. Nothing that could be considered uncomfortable or restrictive, and most of it could be bought cheaply from dozens of different places.

It takes all the hassle out of getting ready for school and wouldn't have wanted the hassle of picking clothes etc every day.

LastBoyScout 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Pullhard:

My daughter's school specifies what you can wear and the school colours, but not where you get them from - the exception being the cardigan with the school crest on it, but that was hardly expensive.

£200 is probably about right, including shoes and PE kit, but my wife is very adept at picking up the bits we need in sales. It'll be even cheaper, as we expect to use most of them again when the 2nd goes to the same school.

I'm slightly baffled about how inexpensive the clothes are, but I guess it's wafer thin margins on big volume sales. Shoes, on the other hand...

It does make mornings rather more straightforward - here are your school clothes.

The parents moaning about the cost of school uniform obviously haven't twigged that if they weren't spending it on that, they'd have to spend it on other clothes for them to wear to school.

Ridge 10 Jul 2019
In reply to duchessofmalfi:

>  no one has ever been made cleverer by putting on a tie.

Depends on which school tie it is ;-)

baron 10 Jul 2019
In reply to wintertree:

During my time as a teacher there was often more hassle in getting some teachers to conform to the dress code than in getting pupils to wear the correct uniform.

They’d bitch and moan that wearing certain items of clothing didn’t make them better teachers.

I always presumed that they hadn’t expressed the same views when they applied for their jobs.

summo 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I don't think John was being hostile...and Summo has a diagnosis of "keyboard misanthropy" that makes everything he ever types come off arsey, it's nothing personal.

I just get annoyed.. when someone says I'm a teacher and uniforms do x and y, perhaps they should ask the kids there if there is bullying and over what issues! 

Given the number schools and countries that function equally as well if not better without uniform, uniform is clearly the answer to nothing, but something that can be used to either blame or attribute many things.

Those failing schools that claim uniforms improved a sense of pride, probably had a dozen other measures introduced as well. 

The other thing here that goes with zero uniform is that teachers dress how they wish too. Not wannabe city bankers or leather patches on tweed. Kids learn to respect the person for who they are, not the dress code. There's no miss or sir either, they use their names, it doesn't diminish respect. 

Lord_ash2000 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Pullhard:

I'm pro uniforms for schools, and I think as far as is feasible the smarter the better. 

It gives a sense of school identity amongst the pupils, a common theme which they can rally around and identify with and will help form unity. 

As for cost, I can understand for some parents it might be a lot upfront but children are going to have to wear something, if they are in a uniform they aren't wearing out their other clothes as quickly and uniforms are generally hard-wearing and worn for a significant portion of the week/year. It might even work out cheaper than maintaining several outfits to wear during the week if there wasn't a uniform requirement.

As for it being smart, I think it gives pupils a sense of pride in how they dress. Just as we do as adults you feel a lot better about yourself if you're suited up and you're respected more by those around you. The effects are subtle but they are in play all the time, just in the background, boosting your self-esteem and confidence. If you grow up all wearing scratty matching polo shirts you're going to feel the only places in society for you are places where you can wear a polo shirt to work, rather than a suit. It might seem minor and isn't going to affect everyone in the same way but I think it matters. 

From the bullying side of things, I think it's effects are limited but existent. Kids will always find ways of bullying other kids but a uniform should at least eliminates one. Our school had uniforms but unfortunately, there were two types of blazer, the proper one with the embroidered badge and the cheap one which just came with the badge on a patch which you sewed on. So it basically defeated the point from an equality point of view, there was a clear visible sign whose parents couldn't afford the proper blazer. 

1
summo 10 Jul 2019
In reply to LastBoyScout:

> The parents moaning about the cost of school uniform obviously haven't twigged that if they weren't spending it on that, they'd have to spend it on other clothes for them to wear to school.

But you don't need to have two sets of clothes worn each day, no special washes, specific shopping trips, no clothes that don't suit the weather on the day. Often our kids swap to shorts if the day warms up. 

Post edited at 09:38
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duchessofmalfi 10 Jul 2019
In reply to LastBoyScout:

"It does make mornings rather more straightforward - here are your school clothes."

Nope - we've got a basket load of suitable practical clothes all clean and ready to use except they aren't school uniform so have to spend faff and stress finding the ****** tie or logo'd jumper.  My experience is it makes morning much less straightforward.

As for the price - well I'd be happier forking out the same cash for a multipurpose item of clothing and since most things grow out rather than wear out the need for quite as much clothing would be reduced saving the need to purchase duplicate clothing from cartels.

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duchessofmalfi 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

"As for it being smart, I think it gives pupils a sense of pride in how they dress."

That's just plain bollocks!

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wercat 10 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

> They are if you are hard up.

I know from recent experience

baron 10 Jul 2019
In reply to duchessofmalfi:

We could go back to the days when we only had one set of clothes and we wore them all week.  

DancingOnRock 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Pullhard:

It’s easy to identify which children are from which school and therefore keep track of any issues during travelling to and from school and also during school hours when they’re hanging about the park instead of being in lessons. 

When I was a teenager, outside of school, the richest kids were the scruffiest and didn’t wear designer labels. It was all the working class kids who wore the designer labels. I guess the wearing of designer labels portrays a certain mindset. 

What you wear doesn’t define you but it does create a certain impression for others. 

Post edited at 09:51
TobyA 10 Jul 2019
In reply to wintertree:

> in the classroom and all the counter arguments I’ve heard boil down to thinking it’s good to teach new people their place as drones to the system.

Well isn't that exactly the role and function of the education system? Along with reproduction and legitimisation of social inequality of course. At least that's what I teach my sociology a level students!

1
TobyA 10 Jul 2019
In reply to JIMBO:

> I did my teacher training in Sheffield and recall how the no uniform thing worked really well. 

I did my teacher training in Sheffield and the two schools I worked in, all the ones I visited more briefly, the high school just up from our house, the primary that my kids went to, and the primaries we looked at before they started at the one they did, all have uniform. This was 2014 onwards.

Has there been a big change? I don't think I've seen any kids going to school without uniform in Sheffield in recent years.

I am interested if those who support uniforms have much experience of a school system without uniforms?

It seems to me that most of the pro-uniform arguments are somewhat weak and often based on popular myths - reduces bullying, fosters unity, eases morning dressing, identifies kids out of school (are these last two really reasons!). 

When I looked into this to formulate my opinion at our school, I found that there were few empirical surveys done about uniforms, just anecdotal ones. I did find a couple (although I can’t find them now) which tracked behaviour in US schools that changed policy and that suggested that there was a slight benefit in behaviour, attendance and achievement in the non-uniform school although it did acknowledge that this was not statistically significant.

For me the biggest argument for non-uniform schools is that it helps foster individualism. That and the fact that it is the default setting - we all have clothes already.

Alan

In reply to TobyA:

> Has there been a big change? I don't think I've seen any kids going to school without uniform in Sheffield in recent years.

In the 1970s and 80s no Sheffield schools had uniform. There has been a slow drift back but King Teds, High Storrs, Westways and Nether Green are hanging on in there. Quite successfully hanging in actually, since they have been the only ones for years now and the debate seems to be cropping up less and less these days.

Alan

TobyA 10 Jul 2019
In reply to summo:

> I just get annoyed.. when someone says I'm a teacher and uniforms do x and y, 

But he or she didn't say that, they said it "can do" which is just as defendable a position as you saying it doesn't. The rest was you just trying to start a scrap.

More generally - my kids started school in Finland with no uniform, and came into the English system in years 4 and 6 and had to wear uniform.

Now at secondary their uniform is pretty average for English secondaries, blazers and ties, but definitely more formal and more prescribed than my comp school in the 80s. We didn't need to wear ties and polo shirts were acceptable.

I'm amazed having hated the even more liberal uniform that I had, that my kids seems to actively quite like their school uniform. I remember rushing in to change everyday out of it, my kids do change but they're never in the massive hurry to do so. They reckon its one thing less to worry about and they think it means that people are less worried about having the right brands at school. Of course your bag and your phone still shows that, but its less obvious with uniform they reckon. My wife who grew up never needing to wear uniform still clearly remembers noticing she was poorer than most of her school mates because of the clothes they had compared to what her parents bought for her.

As a teacher I wish we didn't have uniform because then I wouldn't need to wear a tie, which I do, and I could wear jeans and trainers, which I can't. But that's a selfish thing - I particularly like dislike wearing ties, having never having to wear one daily until in my 40s.

Post edited at 10:24
neilh 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

I rarely see your arguments being put forward by  failing schools where a "turnaround team" has been brought in.

You can argue about the merits of such actions until the cows come home, but I reckon most people understand that it is the Head and their team who drives a school forward.If the Head wants a school uniform policy to be used as a tool to help them, then they should have that choice.

Individualism. That is fine. But also young peole need to learn to work as teams etc, so its a double edge sword.

My daughters went to a school that was put into emergency measures following a disastrous appointment of a head who basically committed wholesale fraud.The new and successful team used uniform poilicy to help get things back on track.

neilh 10 Jul 2019
In reply to duchessofmalfi:

So why did you send them to a school with a uniform policy?

summo 10 Jul 2019
In reply to TobyA:

The point is it is completely irrelevant to the task at hand. Gym clothes for sport. Apron for wood work etc.. sit in class as a teacher or student, it's doesn't matter.

But it's the same in the UK office work places. Shirt tie trousers, in Scandinavia(as you know) in the same role office folk generally wear what they want. It's even possible folk will work better because they'll be more comfortable.

Post edited at 10:41
DancingOnRock 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

Identifying children in then mornings and evenings in large metropolitan areas is important. Particularly when discipline in one school is lax. When I was at school, kids from 4 different schools were on the same bus and it was always kids from one particular school that caused the problems. 

summo 10 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

> .The new and successful team used uniform poilicy to help get things back on track.

How do they know it was the uniform that helped? What did it do? 

TobyA 10 Jul 2019
In reply to summo:

> The point is it is completely irrelevant to the task at hand.

That's an over simplification. Clothes, hair styles etc are part of our identities, in part chosen, in part socialised, and they partly condition the social interactions that we have on a daily basis. Telling school children they have to wear certain clothes, just as telling them they don't have to, is relevant to the, as you put it, 'task at hand'. It is whether it is relevant in either a positive or negative way, or whether it would ever be possible to even make such simplistic distinction, that is at question.

TobyA 10 Jul 2019
In reply to summo:

> How do they know it was the uniform that helped? What did it do?

It is one part of behaviour management systems. It is often controversial and always complex, but when new management teams take over schools which have had systemic weakness in them previously, they do change them, often rapidly. The changes might be positive for all, for some, or only for a minority, but they are changes. Uniform codes, and often their enforcement, are undeniably part of that. 

There is a massive literature on school improvement - some of it "how to..." designed for school leaders, some of it very critical of the concept and the structures that require it, by outside researchers. It really isn't the case that no one has thought about these things.

Post edited at 11:00
summo 10 Jul 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> That's an over simplification. Clothes, hair styles etc are part of our identities, in part chosen, in part socialised, and they partly condition the social interactions that we have on a daily basis. Telling school children they have to wear certain clothes, just as telling them they don't have to, is relevant to the, as you put it, 'task at hand'. It is whether it is relevant in either a positive or negative way, or whether it would ever be possible to even make such simplistic distinction, that is at question.

The task is education. If kids can leave school understanding we all think differently, appear different, can dress different etc. Then that's a bonus. It won't happen by pretending were all the same. Perhaps there might be less cultural, ethnic  and class divides if schools accepted everyone is different, rather than pretending otherwise.

It might not be coincidence that many uniform free countries are generally more equal and tolerant in many different respects. 

2
TobyA 10 Jul 2019
In reply to summo:

> It might not be coincidence that many uniform free countries are generally more equal and tolerant in many different respects. 

I suspect school uniform has zero impact on that - you do seem to have a bee in your bonnet over the issue though.

I don't think you've really thought about what education is though. Why isn't the role of education to make people less difference so we can all fit into society together better?

neilh 10 Jul 2019
In reply to summo:

You had at the school a fragmented policy and a mix of rules.The new Head used it to stream line everything.

It was amongst a raft of measures... including banning emails to teachers with complaints. The new team said if you had a complaint you had to write in. There would be a formal meeting. Intererstingly that drove down alot of frivilous complaints which wasted time.

As I said  it was part of a raft of measures to get things back on track.

If you did not like it, then there were other schools in the area.

baron 10 Jul 2019
In reply to summo:

What do all the following countries have in common?

Bhutan

Cuba

Japan

Indonesia

Vietnam

Sri Lanka

India

All have school uniforms and they represent a wide variety of cultures, religions, etc.

Wearing a school uniform isn’t about trying to pretend that we are all the same.

tom_in_edinburgh 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Pullhard:

It's totally mental to make kids dress up like little Victorians with blazers as if things like zips and modern textiles hadn't been invented.   The idea that the jacket and tie thing is preparing them for work life is bollocks these days.  If they want kids to walk or cycle to school they need to be allowed practical clothing which is waterproof and visible on dark mornings.

It's also totally crazy for schools to appoint a small number of approved shops and then take a kick-back from the extortionate prices those shops get away with because of their quasi-monopoly.   Both schools and parents would be better off if parents gave the school a little extra money and competition was allowed to drive the price of the uniform down.

The one good thing I can see about uniforms is that possibly the kids are less likely to dodge school or misbehave on the way to school when people can immediately tell what school they should be at.

duchessofmalfi 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

"It seems to me that most of the pro-uniform arguments are somewhat weak"

Weak and without any supporting evidence that the claims made have any basis in fact!

I suspect they are introduced as a marker of change alongside unproven and spurious arguments about discipline and community.  I think they are partially a revenue raising activity and partially a fig-leaf to cover up a minority of crap teachers who command no respect without the rulebook.  Practically I think they are an instrument of oppression, division and bullying that does not withstand scrutiny for any of the positive effects lent to them.

I seriously think they are also a sop to the DM readers of this world and go hand-in-hand with numeracy instead of maths.

4
SDM 10 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

> By the same token I have seen school children immaculately dressed in India and other Far Eastern countries where the poverty level is far far worse than in Europe. It is considered a source of pride.

I spent a month with an Indian family whose two daughters always looked immaculate when they went to school. 

The family of four lived in a hut made of sticks and weaved banana leaves, built on a section of the roof of somebody else's house. The double bed that the whole family shared was up against two of the walls and the entire hut was just about big enough for a thin person to squeeze past the bed on the other two sides.

The only electricity they had was where they had spurred directly from overhead power cables to a single socket dangling from the roof which was then daisy chained to a number of items. 

When the torrential rains occurred every evening, water poured through the roof and down the socket as well as through the walls which were in a state of disrepair and in need of replacing in their entirety. They needed replacing 2-3 years previously but the family couldn't afford to. The walls were unlikely to to survive the winds of the next monsoon.

They needed about £100 to buy the materials to replace the walls and floors. This was about 2 months combined wages for both parents who worked 14+ hours a day, 7 days a week in tough jobs.

The family had one meal a day (the girls would have a second meal a day at school on school days). During the low season and the monsoon when their income was even less, the parents would often go without food to ensure the girls' education could be paid for. 

In addition to school, they had English lessons in the evenings, weekends and holidays. A high level of English is essential for most of the good courses at university and for all jobs that would allow them to escape poverty. Just the cost of pencils and paper caused anxiety for the family and they feared either girl having a growth spurt. Their total educational costs were over £40 a month.

They took great pride in their education and the mother had to wash, iron and starch the spare uniform every day. I couldn't help thinking that they had more important things to worry about than their appearance for school. 

duchessofmalfi 10 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

Errm, because that's the only choice there is!

2
summo 10 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

> It was amongst a raft of measures...

So it's hard to confirm uniform made any meaningful difference?

>  including banning emails to teachers with complaints. The new team said if you had a complaint you had to write in.

Rees Mogg would be proud. Victorian Britain. Nothing wrong with digital communication if used properly. 

1
neilh 10 Jul 2019
In reply to duchessofmalfi:

Ok, although my experience is when you push people there is usally a choice. It s  just that distance or quality of the school comes into it and people do not like the other options,( so it becomes a choice as there are other options).

I have one friend - quaker - who refused to send his children to a local Church school.Well that was until he looked at the schools and decided to forgo his principles.

The days of us  as parents not having a choice seems to be  a thing of the past.

neilh 10 Jul 2019
In reply to summo:

Why not read what Toby A says. Its a tool of behavourial management and is an option.

Actually no.If its a complaint its meant to be treated seriously by the management team, so they had a system in place that respected both the teachers and the parents. That was their method of dealing with it. It avoided people dashing of emails without thinking through the consequences( speak to teachers on the issue).Very modern.

DancingOnRock 10 Jul 2019
In reply to summo:

> So it's hard to confirm uniform made any meaningful difference?

> >  including banning emails to teachers with complaints. The new team said if you had a complaint you had to write in.

> Rees Mogg would be proud. Victorian Britain. Nothing wrong with digital communication if used properly. 

Uniform makes a big difference. Not least it shows someone can pay attention to simple details.

I think you missed the point that digital communication was being abused by the parents. 

summo 10 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

> Why not read what Toby A says. Its a tool of behavourial management and is an option.

> Actually no.If its a complaint its meant to be treated seriously by the management team, so they had a system in place that respected both the teachers and the parents. That was their method of dealing with it. It avoided people dashing of emails without thinking through the consequences( speak to teachers on the issue).Very modern.

I guess we live in very different worlds in terms of parent, pupil and teacher respect. 

Here we would just ring the teacher on their phone at a time after lessons finished if anything was pressing. A school but not class specific issue you go through the school secretary and head teacher etc..

We have at least two face to face parent/pupil/teacher meetings every year anyway, where progress is discussed and goals set etc. Any potential things can be resolved long before you need to reach for a phone or quill & parchment later in the year.

I'd like to think things can be resolved in a practical and respectful fashion in this day and age, but I know I'm wrong. 

I do have a fair grasp of the issues, my brother and his wife both work in school for kids excluded from mainstream education. When I did my cert ed I accrued many hours teaching in a college on their public services course (last chance saloon course). So I understand that many pupils and parents behaviour and respect isn't ideal.

But I still don't think uniforms are the answer. 

summo 10 Jul 2019
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> Uniform makes a big difference. Not least it shows someone can pay attention to simple details.

Are pupils from schools without uniforms lacking these skills or attributes? 

DancingOnRock 10 Jul 2019
In reply to summo:

In general? I havn’t got a clue, is that relevant? 

If children in the school we are talking about can’t even wear uniform smartly then that’s a simple place to start to get discipline back. 

Remember we are talking about schools and children who need to learn discipline. Otherwise they grow into adults who don’t have any discipline, who think everyone is entitled to express their individuality at all times. Essentially a lot of the problems we see in society are due to people who are unable to discipline themselves and have never had it instilled within them. 

Post edited at 12:47
1
summo 10 Jul 2019
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> In general? I havn’t got a clue, is that relevant? 

You claimed it made them better at attention to detail? I asked how did you know it did?  

> Essentially a lot of the problems we see in society are due to people who are unable to discipline themselves and have never had it instilled within them. 

No it's often through a lack of tolerance and respect. Perhaps having no uniform teaches folk to respect each other, value diversity etc.. 

A indiscipline disrespectful chav, is still going to be an indiscipline disrespectful chav even if you make them wear a blazer between 9 and 4. It's their home life and what they are taught that will change them. 

Post edited at 12:55
girlymonkey 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

> It gives a sense of school identity amongst the pupils, a common theme which they can rally around and identify with and will help form unity. 

It united us against the school!! The uniform was uniformly abused and mis-worn in any and every way imaginable!

> As for it being smart, I think it gives pupils a sense of pride in how they dress. Just as we do as adults you feel a lot better about yourself if you're suited up and you're respected more by those around you. The effects are subtle but they are in play all the time, just in the background, boosting your self-esteem and confidence. If you grow up all wearing scratty matching polo shirts you're going to feel the only places in society for you are places where you can wear a polo shirt to work, rather than a suit. It might seem minor and isn't going to affect everyone in the same way but I think it matters. 

Or, it will teach you that you don't have to look a certain way to be accepted in certain places! I feel uncomfortable and awkward if made to wear smart clothes and as such I do not act in a confident manner as I worry about how I look. I feel much more confident and happy in comfortable clothes, and I have never been told I am not welcome somewhere due to what I wear. I assume that I will be accepted because I am a decent human being. 

> From the bullying side of things, I think it's effects are limited but existent. Kids will always find ways of bullying other kids but a uniform should at least eliminates one.

But it doesn't. I never grew into my brother's old blazer, so it was a clear hand-me-down all my school life. Shoes are one of the most expensive things, and not covered by uniform other than they should be black. In my day it was trendy to wear kickers, for example, but they were expensive so some couldn't wear them. The cheapo backpack from poundstretchers stood out a mile from the adidas etc bags that others used. 

In reality, if given a free choice of clothing, most kids will wear stuff from Primark, so cost wise totally affordable for most people and cheaper than uniform. What will make people stand out is personal style choices, and if they are used to that from the start of school then it's not an issue.

Timmd 10 Jul 2019
In reply to girlymonkey:

> Everyone always knew who the haves and have nots were. Those in the tatty hand down uniforms, those with the uncool bags, those with the uncool shoes etc. Uniform is irrelevant, kids are horrible and will bully for any, or no, reason. 

> In an age where we need to encourage kids to be more active, why do we put them in 'proper' shoes which are hard to run in, shirts which are expected to stay buttoned up so are uncomfortable, ties which get caught in things and blazers which you can't lift your arms in?! Let's let them dress as kids, in such a way that they can play and be comfortable! 

Not having uniforms accentuates the issue, though, because it starts to get noticed if other kids keep wearing the same clothes on rotation, though you're exactly right that if it isn't clothes, it's bags or shoes or niceness of uniforms which get picked up on. Having uniforms which children can be active in could potentially solve the issues you mention.

Post edited at 13:13
wercat 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

"it helps foster individualism"  - but that can be expensive and a designer label social arms race.  Believe me, we were sending our kids to school later in life at a time when our disposable income had fallen hugely, to a level where the cost of school clothing was a worry, and the uniforms were a blessing as at least one relatively inexpensive school outfitter was accredited by the school.

Post edited at 13:12
baron 10 Jul 2019
In reply to girlymonkey:

There are numerous jobs and situations when you might not have a choice about what you wear.

Timmd 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

> I am interested if those who support uniforms have much experience of a school system without uniforms?

I've been to both kinds - including a school which switched to a simple enough system of children having a choice of coloured sweatshirts with the school logo on, and found that there was less of a 'coolness arms race' where uniforms were worn.

> It seems to me that most of the pro-uniform arguments are somewhat weak and often based on popular myths - reduces bullying, fosters unity, eases morning dressing, identifies kids out of school (are these last two really reasons!). 

The last two I don't agree with either, it's a good thing to be able to remove your school identity sometimes once outside of school.

> For me the biggest argument for non-uniform schools is that it helps foster individualism. That and the fact that it is the default setting - we all have clothes already.

> Alan

Clothes which can reflect one's economic and social status, though, which can be a means of bullying. 

Post edited at 13:18
girlymonkey 10 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

But that is for practical reasons, so that is fine. A builder has to wear steel toe caps and a hard hat, a nurse has to wear surgical scrubs, a police officer has to be identifiable and have a stab vest on etc. I have to wear uniform when working at the climbing wall as an instructor so that I can be identified, but I don't wear it when I route set as it's not practical and the wall is shut then so it doesn't matter. 

Ties at our school were used as weapons! I couldn't count how many ties had to be cut off children due to "Peanutting". I doubt teachers could count the number of hours they argued about blazers or shirts being tucked in. I spent what felt like the entirety of my 5th year with wet shoes because leather shoes don't dry out overnight and I only had one pair of school shoes as they were expensive. None of these things were practical or fit for purpose!

TobyA 10 Jul 2019
In reply to summo:

>  It's their home life and what they are taught that will change them. 

That's like saying its the food that you eat that will affect your weight. Duh. Of course it is. If you did a Certificate of Education you might have come across the idea of the hidden curriculum - every part of the school experience teaches something, why is the staff room separate from the rest of the school? Why can they get detentions if they are seen dropping litter? And so on. Uniform is part of that. You might not like what it teaches, but it is part of the teaching as much as a worksheet I give out in a lesson.

Look, you can't run double blind experiments on children, it's not really very ethical. The only evidence is going to comparative and that's pretty hopeless because you can't control for all the other variables, particularly when comparing internationally.

DancingOnRock 10 Jul 2019
In reply to summo:

> You claimed it made them better at attention to detail? I asked how did you know it did?  

No you didn’t.

> > Essentially a lot of the problems we see in society are due to people who are unable to discipline themselves and have never had it instilled within them. 

> No it's often through a lack of tolerance and respect. Perhaps having no uniform teaches folk to respect each other, value diversity etc.. 

Perhaps, but tolerance and respect come from within, if you have no respect or pride  in yourself and are unable to fit in with everyone else then that must be addressed first.

> A indiscipline disrespectful chav, is still going to be an indiscipline disrespectful chav even if you make them wear a blazer between 9 and 4. It's their home life and what they are taught that will change them. 

No. They won’t. You have no control over disciple at home, you only have control over the discipline at school. If their entire life is chaotic and undisciplined then they will always be chaotic and undisciplined. School should be a place where there is order and discipline. 

Post edited at 13:32
Timmd 10 Jul 2019
In reply to summo:. 

> No it's often through a lack of tolerance and respect. Perhaps having no uniform teaches folk to respect each other, value diversity etc..

You've presumably not been on the end of things like 'I used to have a sweatshirt like that, but I thought it was shit so I threw it away, ha ha' like I sometimes was before the school I was at switched to some kind of uniform. 

Post edited at 13:32
baron 10 Jul 2019
In reply to girlymonkey:

It’s probably better to get your rebellious streak about wearing a uniform out of your system before you join the labour market.

Even working at McDonalds requires the wearing of a uniform and that’s got little or nothing to do with practicality. 

Learning that a uniform is something that comes with the job is a valuable lesson for later life although being strangled with one’s own tie by one’s own classmates probably shouldn’t be part of that lesson.

Having wet feet for lengthy periods of time is good conditioning for someone interested in the outdoors, trench foot not withstanding.

Timmd 10 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

> Having wet feet for lengthy periods of time is good conditioning for someone interested in the outdoors, trench foot not withstanding.

Likewise, having their ear lobe flicked is good conditioning for somebody interested in learning pain management, often a useful quality. ;-) 

Post edited at 13:59
krikoman 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Pullhard:

I hated having to wear a uniform, but think it's quite a good idea, depending on the options.

Uniform should be plain, and be available from a number of vendors, probably supermarkets. My daughters school, requires a monikered skirt so it's £20+ rather than £5 from Tesco. Making girls wear tights, is not on, as far as I'm concerned. A blazer you can stitch a school badge on the pocket seems like a reasonable idea too.

I today's world there's too much emphasis placed on wearing the right names and labels etc. so it can be easier for everyone to wear the same stuff.

Trainers are a prime example.

summo 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Timmd:

> . 

> You've presumably not been on the end of things like 'I used to have a sweatshirt like that, but I thought it was shit so I threw it away, ha ha' like I sometimes was before the school I was at switched to some kind of uniform. 

I will give you the benefit of the doubt that you are wise enough to realise children especially teenagers will find something to pick at even if everyone wore identical clothes. It doesn't stop bullying only changes the subject matter. 

Post edited at 14:24
1
summo 10 Jul 2019
In reply to TobyA:

So if it's impossible to prove that uniform makes any difference long term, why not just remove it and reduce the number of things the school has to administer. 

Jim Hamilton 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

> Totally agree. 

> In Sheffield we don't have uniforms at certain schools (a hang on form the 70s).

Don't the better "performing" state secondary schools have them?

girlymonkey 10 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

> It’s probably better to get your rebellious streak about wearing a uniform out of your system before you join the labour market.

I don't think I would have had a rebellious streak if it wasn't for uniform! It was just uncomfortable, not fit for purpose and gave you a reason to rebel!

> Even working at McDonalds requires the wearing of a uniform and that’s got little or nothing to do with practicality. 

Well if you are unfortunate enough to end up there, then wearing a uniform is a skill you can quickly learn. You don't need a whole career of school to teach to you hate a uniform before you get to a job.

>  although being strangled with one’s own tie by one’s own classmates probably shouldn’t be part of that lesson.

Indeed.

> Having wet feet for lengthy periods of time is good conditioning for someone interested in the outdoors, trench foot not withstanding.

Hmmm, yes the athletes foot at pitted keratosis which I still suffer with have been an excellent basis for my life in the outdoors!! They enhance my instructing abilities no end!!

School really didn't prepare me properly for my other work as a translator though. I wear my PJs and sit in bed with my laptop! Where was the lesson for that when they were forcing blazers onto me?!?!

DancingOnRock 10 Jul 2019
In reply to summo:

It’s impossible to prove to what extent the wearing of uniform improves school outcome. That’s not the same as proving there is no outcome. 

In reply to summo:

A uniform is all about suppression of identity. Whether the armed forces, a football team, McDonalds staff, nurse or bus conductor. When it works, it is practical and can help form an ethos of team work rather than individuality. 

Is this necessary in schools? Not sure, i can't say I have given it much thought until today. I think some of the points for and against have some validity. It would be interesting if a school had a uniform, but allowed children to choose to wear it. I suspect not many parents or children would adopt it. 

I wore uniform at primary and secondary and I have no memory of hating it, it was just accepted. As an adult I have also had to accept a dress code of business attire which has always felt natural... interesting debate.

baron 10 Jul 2019
In reply to girlymonkey:

I’m sure you didn’t need lessons in how to wear pyjamas.

Timmd 10 Jul 2019
In reply to summo:

> I will give you the benefit of the doubt that you are wise enough to realise children especially teenagers will find something to pick at even if everyone wore identical clothes. It doesn't stop bullying only changes the subject matter. 

I've posted as much further up, easy to miss in a thread.

Post edited at 15:33
girlymonkey 10 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

Indeed, just like kids going on to work in MacD's don't need lessons in wearing a uniform!

neilh 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

It is also about creating identity. So it can be both creating and suppressing identity.It all depends on the situation etc.

I do not support the view that it is good to learn because you may need to wear one at work. I do agree with TobyA’s comments that it can be useful as part of a hidden education agenda.

As to working in PJ’s, by the same token you would not turn up to a meeting in PJ’s with a client. 

Post edited at 15:22
DancingOnRock 10 Jul 2019
In reply to girlymonkey:

I used to do revision for my French spelling tests in bed. But when I was in front of my client (the teacher) presenting my work, I was expected to dress appropriately and sit up straight. 

DancingOnRock 10 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

Group identity rather than individual identity. When you’re in a class of 30 children learning the same subject, individuality isn’t very important. 

In reply to neilh:

"It is also about creating identity"

I meant (and should have said) individual identity

girlymonkey 10 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

I have clean PJs for meetings!! ;-)

gethin_allen 10 Jul 2019
In reply to girlymonkey:

You say that you have to wear a uniform to identify yourself at work. How is this any different to a school uniform which is there to identify pupils.

You mention that you feel uncomfortable in scenarios where you are required to dress smartly because you are concerned about your appearance. I get the same anxiety in posh restaurants and bars when I arrive in the standard jeans and t-shirts that i wear 99% of the time.  If there was a requirement for everyone to follow a set code then you just follow the code and fit in. If you follow the code and still look like a berk then that's the fault of the code not a reflection on the individuals style or a reflection of their ability to pay.

Every time I go to a wedding/funeral/business event etc. I put on a suit (one of 3 I have collected in 20 years) and I always hear comments from women that "men are so lucky" or "you don't have to worry about buying a new dress or having someone else turn up in the same dress as you" etc.

Regarding your wet leather shoes. Polished leather is plenty waterproof and because they have less lining than say a pair of Nike Airs they'll dry quickly if you simply take out the insoles and stuff them with newspaper.

Addressing points made by other posters.

People seem to get wound up about price of uniforms. These days the basic stuff (trousers, skirts, plain shirts, black shoes) is so incredibly cheap it's ludicrous and should really make people think more about where it's made and how it's possible to sell things like this so cheaply. Compare the price of a pair of Levi jeans (kids want the brands) to a pair of black trousers that can be bought from almost any supermarket for as little as £7 for 2 pairs (tesco).

A comment was made about washing school uniforms specially. They are all synthetic mix, they can be thrown in with everything else and most don't even require ironing. Most of the stuff doesn't even need to be clean every day within reasonable levels, if a kid was seen wearing the same branded shirt two days in a row they'd probably be called a scrubber by the rest of the kids.

The main issues raised by the poor news articles about gender neutral, cheap, flexible uniforms are targetted at a few schools that are living in the past and have overly prescriptive and onerous policies. Most don't.

summo 10 Jul 2019
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> It’s impossible to prove to what extent the wearing of uniform improves school outcome. That’s not the same as proving there is no outcome. 

The same can be said for no uniform, making people more tolerant and accepting of each others differences, which regardless of how hard line a school is on clothes, shoes and hair cuts we all know are there. Impossible to prove.  

I've experienced uniform as a kid and now my kids experience zero uniforms, shoes or haircut rules. I know which one feels more relaxed for parents and child, plus I've heard nothing from any teachers saying they thought being more like the UK would improve schooling in any form. 

Again, that's not a study. Purely my perspective. Others may vary. 

1
Ridge 10 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

> We could go back to the days when we only had one set of clothes and we wore them all week.  

I still do that at work...

girlymonkey 10 Jul 2019
In reply to DancingOnRock:

Sit up straight?!?! Bah ha, our teachers were delighted if we were in the class and maybe sitting down!! Sitting straight was far from the agenda!!

I guess I just feel the world is so image focused and there is just no need for it. Dressing in some artificial way has no purpose other than to reinforce that appearances and image are more important than substance. If we all stopped playing the game then I suspect we would all be happier and might actually focus on what matters, that is the substance of whatever we are meant to be doing. 

Throughout this discussion, I have been in climbing wall uniform, running kit and now in shorts with a rainbow striped top. None of those changes of outfit have affected how I view the issue or the substance of what I am writing. It's one thing I love about the internet, it gets us away from the image problems that we all have forced on us. 

Schools putting so much emphasis on uniform detracts from learning. I remember people being sent to department heads for various uniform related issues when they should have been in class and learning. How is that helping anyone? It should be about the subjects and not what they are wearing. If clothing really does matter later in life then that can be quickly learned. However, I suspect if we stopped making such a fuss of it at school level, people might not feel the need for it further down the line either. 

mbh 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Ridge:

not just at work...

mbh 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Pullhard:

My kids may have had years of ribbing from my terrible ironing of their equally terrible, ripped, nylon trousers and shirts during their school uniform years. I cannot fathom why uniforms are so common in UK schools. Have not studies been done as to whether the claimed benefits are actually valid? if they were, why aren't they pushed upwards into colleges and universities? Because there would be ridicule if this was tried?? There are plenty of countries that don't use them that seem to function at least as well as we do.

neilh 10 Jul 2019
In reply to mbh:

And there are plenty of countrys that function very well with them, Japan springs to mind, and I bet most of us would not mind having our children educated there.

Nor is it always the right way.It clearly would not work in Summo land, different culture.

It would be interesting to look across all the top performing state  schools and see what their policy is and then work through it.Anybody know of a table showing this? We should ignore the private sector.

SenzuBean 10 Jul 2019
In reply to summo:

> I presume you are ignoring Finland, sweden, Norway, Denmark.. which as a rule have no uniform at all.

Interesting - I didn't know that. However as I understand it, those countries don't have radically different income levels going to the same school (in general). That I think means that people don't feel vastly left out.
As an aside, I went to a school in South Africa. I lived in a middle-class home - diagonally across there was one of my friends who lived in a multiple storey mansion. In class at school - we were asked to describe where we lived. When finally it was one girl's turn - she burst into tears because she lived in a tin shack - she was 5 years old.
I suppose the real issue is the inequality in the first place, and having uniforms sort of 'papers' over it.

> Certainly at our kids Swedish school mobile phones from age 0-16 go to the teacher at the start of the day and are locked away until home time. If anyone needs to stay in touch there is a perfectly functional school telephone and if you need IT for research the school provides that any way.  

Well that is how it should be done.

krikoman 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> A uniform is all about suppression of identity.

It also lets you know, which school the scrote kicking the daffodils to bits on the grass verge, come from.

So just the opposite of suppressing identity

It also stops expensive things like designer trainers, being stolen and the whole investigation palava that would entail.

Post edited at 17:24
summo 10 Jul 2019
In reply to SenzuBean:

> Interesting - I didn't know that. However as I understand it, those countries don't have radically different income levels going to the same school (in general). That I think means that people don't feel vastly left out.

Income varies nearly as much as anywhere else, perhaps a few percent less on either extreme. Plus unless you are in biggest cities there will be only one school within a reasonable distance. So you could have a syrian refugee and a business owner, their kids will go to the same school. Plus our local school does ages 1-16, so you get all ages, nationalities, religions, social classes etc. All on the same site for potentially 15 of their first 16 years of life. 

> As an aside, I went to a school in South Africa. I lived in a middle-class home - diagonally across there was one of my friends who lived in a multiple storey mansion. In class at school - we were asked to describe where we lived. When finally it was one girl's turn - she burst into tears because she lived in a tin shack - she was 5 years old.

Generally the school tries to avoid projects, assignments etc. that could impact the child in that manner. Nor do they have anything happen where the parents are expected to buy something or contribute vast sums of money, so the poorer families miss out. They might ask the child to write about their home life as an assignment and then hand it in, but not forced them to read it out if it could be demeaning.

A bit like IT, from age 11 up they are given a laptop or pad each for school related work. The whole class all have the same. There are no rich parents spoiling the child with the best laptop in the world, they wouldn't be allowed to use it and log onto the school network to do their work.

1
krikoman 10 Jul 2019
In reply to girlymonkey:

>  keratosis which I still suffer with ...

Wasn't she in Atomic Kitten? I know what you mean though about suffering!

Andy Clarke 10 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

> It would be interesting to look across all the top performing state  schools and see what their policy is and then work through it.

I was head of a high performing state comprehensive and we had a uniform. Based on my wide experience, I would say that this will still be the case in the huge majority of similar schools. Heads have to work within the system as it is, not as it might be in other countries/cultures - and the huge majority of English secondary schools have a uniform. While I personally admired  the handful of Sheffield schools that stuck with their liberal dress policies, it would have been a real distraction for me to have abandoned my school's uniform. This would not have played well in the community, and perception is crucial when you are seeking to develop a school's ethos, culture, symbols, narratives and traditions. It was interesting to see that as our results improved and our reputation grew, the uniform code became increasingly better observed and less a source of conflict. I attributed this to the fact that the students were increasingly proud of the school and keen to be identified with it. I should point out that this was an absolutely 'bog standard' comp in terms of the spread of ability of our intake, but we scored very highly (top 5%) on the various 'value-added' measures that have been trialled over the past decades.

1
MonkeyPuzzle 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Pullhard:

Kids should all be in dungarees or boilersuits from ages 0-13 years old, probably with knee and elbow pads if you want to do it properly. You can always attach a small flag to them if you want to identify them to a specific institution. They can wear what they like fourth year up as long as they're happy to wash it themselves.

MonkeyPuzzle 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Pullhard:

Joking aside, it doesn't look like school uniforms are helping produce the happy, conscientious, empathetic, principled society most of us would like, so maybe we should just bin it all off and copy whatever Finland is doing.

In reply to Jim Hamilton:

> Don't the better "performing" state secondary schools have them?

Not in Sheffield. There are a few of the top schools that do, but King Teds and High Storrs are good schools. 

Alan

DancingOnRock 10 Jul 2019
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

Since all kids are worthless unemployable layabouts roaming the streets knifing each other to death, we should probably just bin all schools off as they’re clearly not working. 

baron 10 Jul 2019
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> Joking aside, it doesn't look like school uniforms are helping produce the happy, conscientious, empathetic, principled society most of us would like, so maybe we should just bin it all off and copy whatever Finland is doing.

Somall is well in Finnish society?

MonkeyPuzzle 10 Jul 2019
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> Since all kids are worthless unemployable layabouts roaming the streets knifing each other to death, we should probably just bin all schools off as they’re clearly not working. 

Youch. It's not those kids I was thinking about, but they're certainly collateral damage.

MonkeyPuzzle 10 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

> Somall is well in Finnish society?

Yes, he's fine, thanks for asking.

In reply to summo:

> I presume you are ignoring Finland, sweden, Norway, Denmark.. which as a rule have no uniform at all. 

... and the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, France, Spain, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Poland, Greece probably most of the rest of Europe (apart from Romania and possibly Croatia) and USA and Canada where it is limited. 

The places with school uniforms are usually countries which Britain messed about with and ones where going to school is a privilege people want to shout about .... and Japan.

Alan

summo 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

It's an oddity. Ask the ukc collective what they think about Eton and you'll get a rant about the school tie opening doors for the privileged. Seems it's only acceptable to foster school pride and allegiance if it's a comprehensive school. 

6
marsbar 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Pullhard:

My niece goes to school in France.  No uniform.  Very high standards of behaviour and education.  Many French people are horrified by the behaviour of English children.  

Uniforms aren't necessary.   I’m bored of telling children off for their clothes.  It’s a waste of my time.   

neilh 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

Nevertheless It is interesting reading Alan Hardy’s comments which perhaps give a wider perspective on the issue.

Post edited at 19:32
neilh 10 Jul 2019
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

I think you are out of touch. Most young people I meet and see are not like you describe .far from there are a lot of great ones around doing some fantastic things. 

MonkeyPuzzle 10 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

I wasn't talking about young people! I was talking about the amoral, selfish gits we all have as an example at the top of society. Incidentally, most of their school uniforms would have been some of the most cohesive and identifiable out there!

In reply to neilh:

> Nevertheless It is interesting reading Alan Hardy’s comments which perhaps give a wider perspective on the issue.

You will have to point me in the right direction for that one.

TobyA 10 Jul 2019
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

Having even done a bit of supply teaching in a Finnish school, my kids starting their education in the Finnish system, a number of my good friends being Finnish secondary teachers and having read over a decade of Guardian and BBC stories on Finnish schools whilst I lived in Helsinki, I'd warn you to be a little bit wary over the extremely rosy light in which the Finnish system is almost always reported. Lots of good things about it, but not perfect by any means.

TobyA 10 Jul 2019
In reply to summo:

Have you got experience of any Swedish schools beyond the one your kids go to? Finnish educationalists always looked at Sweden with a distinct air of schadenfreude when I followed this closely, because Sweden was well below Finland in the PISA tests and the Swedish changes of the 90s seemed to have not had particularly positive long term results, although the free school model was lifted whole cloth from Sweden by the Coalition government when Gove was Sec State for education. Interestingly it hasn't done very well here, but then it seems it didn't do great in Sweden either.

This is a really interesting long read on strengths and weaknesses in the Swedish system:

https://www.thelocal.se/20180822/sweden-in-focus-education-inequality-schools

But more critical looks, particularly at the free school policy, here:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/10/sweden-schools-crisis-political-failure-education

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/education/is-sweden-proof-that-school-choice-doesnt-improve-education

https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/education/2016/06/why-sweden-s-free-schools-are-failing

TobyA 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

> but King Teds and High Storrs are good schools. 

They are, but they are also west side, leafy suburb schools. I wonder if it's even possible to separate out external factors like average parental income and education levels in the catchment area from internal factors like dress code in the relative success of a school. Hansworth Grange, where I did my first teaching practice, got outstanding in their Ofsted last year. They have a relatively deprived catchment area, a significant minority of Slovak Roma ESL kids, and lots of BAME kids. But they do have uniform.

mbh 10 Jul 2019
In reply to TobyA:

Have any RCT studies been done on the impact on x,y,z of school uniforms, I wonder?

TobyA 10 Jul 2019
In reply to mbh:

Like I said earlier I doubt it. Even if messing about in someones education was considered ethical (and the govt. does mess about in education plenty), it would be really hard to control for just one factor.

summo 10 Jul 2019
In reply to TobyA:

I think most people don't give a flying fcuk about the pisa scores, only their own kids. They know the average is down but when some classes are 50% refugee/asylum seekers kids who entered the education system mid flow it's not surprising when pisa compares to other countries that have a much lower proportion of non natives etc. Also there aren't the league tables or the testing regime like the UK here, so much of the political debate is speculation to further political goals.

The free schools tend to only get bad press off the socialist party/s who went into coalition 5 or 6 years, after two full terms of the moderates. It gives them something to blame and bit like the uks current Labour party they want to bring everything back under the government umbrella. 

The free schools that were previously trying to have religious slant have been forced to dropped all religious elements from their lessons to match the state schools. 

We have friends with kids in other schools, our kid's best friend is a head and there are few teachers in our orienteering/ski club. They all say the same, money is stretched, classes have grown in size. Our kids class size went up from 15 to 19/20 over the last few years. The challenge is getting the incomers kids Swedish up to speed to make the most of the education available to them. In many cases the parents are the restricting factor as they don't share the same ethos, but that's another debate.

Subtle differences here is if a child is struggling massively, they will just move them back a year. Better to leave a year later with the skills, than on time without.  Plus the vocational training from 16-19 is much better funded and respected. 

It's hard to know what's best. But no uniform and religion is a good start. Lots of sport, large focus on use of IT, sciences and personal skills (public speaking, debating etc), music too. Perhaps we just got lucky, time will tell. Where we left in Yorkshire had a village primary that still thought it was 1910 and the only comprehensive school kept dipping in and out of special measures, so I doubt it'll be worse here. 

Ps. The local is badly edited click bait but you might already know that. They usually just pull article from other press, then edit them to give a controversial slant as most of their revenue is from ads. 

Post edited at 21:38
mbh 10 Jul 2019
In reply to TobyA:

No doubt, which makes the assertions of, or at least the willingness to believe in the efficacy of uniforms in impacting on x,y,z all the more puzzling. 

TobyA 10 Jul 2019
In reply to mbh:

But also very hard to show that they are not a positive also. Basically, it's part of the UK education system for historical reasons, it could be changed but there is a lot of inertia stopping it, particularly when we don't really know whether it would make much (any?) difference.

Institutions are things that have become sedimented social reality. The reasons why they stick around might have very little to with what they were originally intended for. A big chunk of my doctoral thesis was on the Finnish conscription system - it's very hard to find a military expert Finnish or not - who thinks conscripting all young men is a good way to build a modern military, it quite clearly isn't for many reasons. But the institution remains, has a lot of public support, and doesn't seem to be going anywhere soon, no matter how many annoying outsiders write dissertations and articles pointing these things out!

DancingOnRock 10 Jul 2019
In reply to TobyA:

And these will all be factors in why Finish school system is different. The kids know they’re going into the army. Nobody thinks conscription is a good way to build an army. It’s something that’s bought in to rapidly build numbers of fit strong men in case there is a war. 

DancingOnRock 10 Jul 2019
In reply to marsbar:

French children are included in all areas of social life. 

English children are hardly welcome anywhere.

Jenny C 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Pullhard:

I was one of the many Sheffield kids educated in the 1980s/90s who have never written a school uniform.

As others have pointed out the lack of a uniform certainly doesn't prevent bullying, but the argument about cost is interesting as all to often it was the single parent kids on free school meals who were the ones with the latest branded trainers.

It was often joked back then that the unofficial school uniform at High Storrs was blue jeans and a t.shirt. We had a dress code of what wasn't school appropriate (ripped jeans being the most common cause for conflict) but generaly were left to dress how we wished. Looking back at old school photos we didn't look too scruffy, infact wearing our own clothes arguably encouraged us to take a pride on our appearance.

Whilst I was there the neighbouring secondary introduced uniform. A choice of 3 sweatshirt colours which when washed faded to give a rainbow of colour choices and were paired with black bottoms, scruffy doesn't even begin to describe it. 

Tom V 11 Jul 2019
In reply to summo:

Speaking of the UKc collective ( much as I despise the like/ dislike button)  have a look for the biggest disparity betwen the two on this thread.

Dax H 's post early this morning has a "like" majority of around 90 in favour of school uniform so it could be argued that anti-uniform people are as far away from the UKC mindset as are Brexiters and even Rolf Harris fans.

Of course, it could also be argued that the like/ dislike button is completely meaningless and should therefore be scrapped.

birdie num num 11 Jul 2019
In reply to Pullhard:

The only problem really about letting the kids ad lib with school uniform is that they all turn up in Armani suits and Gucci dresses 

No way I’d want to be a teacher in a Matalan suit brimming with static electricity, accessorised with a faux leather briefcase 

2
summo 11 Jul 2019
In reply to Jenny C:

> It was often joked back then that the unofficial school uniform at High Storrs was blue jeans and a t.shirt. We had a dress code of what wasn't school appropriate (ripped jeans being the most common cause for conflict) but generaly were left to dress how we wished. Looking back at old school photos we didn't look too scruffy, infact wearing our own clothes arguably encouraged us to take a pride on our appearance.

It is  like that at our kids school. Annual school photo or some special event after school most will find something with a collar, do their hair and so on. Last day of school before summer holidays (music and singing show with family watching) it's slightly more formal again, with those who are 16 leaving forever upgrading to full suit or evening dress type wear. 

There are no written rules, it's just as they (with parental guidance) deem is appropriate for the occasion. 

Post edited at 06:52
elsewhere 11 Jul 2019
In reply to Pullhard:

It's one of those funny question like "are juries a good thing" where the answer is largely determined by the country they come from. Basically people think their familiar tradition makes sense and the other unfamiliar tradition is illogical.

summo 11 Jul 2019
In reply to Tom V:

> Speaking of the UKc collective ( much as I despise the like/ dislike button)  have a look for the biggest disparity betwen the two on this thread.

> Dax H 's post early this morning has a "like" majority of around 90 in favour of school uniform so it could be argued that anti-uniform people are as far away from the UKC mindset as are Brexiters and even Rolf Harris fans.

Wonder if it's the same 90 people who might have defended Corbyn for looking like he's been dragged through a hedge backwards on remembrance day.

1
marsbar 11 Jul 2019
In reply to summo:

I don't generally care what people wear if they get the job done.  

Kids are in school to learn.  

Part of what they need to learn is about appropriate dress.  

As Jenny said, they managed to learn this without a school uniform. 

Corbyn on the other hand doesn't seem to have learnt that there are a few occasions when looking scruffy is particularly inappropriate.  That was one of them.  

1
neilh 11 Jul 2019
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

 To quote from post at 1747 

 “It was interesting to see that as our results improved and our reputation grew, the uniform code became increasingly better observed and less a source of conflict. I attributed this to the fact that the students were increasingly proud of the school and keen to be identified with it. I should point out that this was an absolutely 'bog standard' comp in terms of the spread of ability of our intake, but we scored very highly (top 5%) on the various 'value-added' measures that have been trialled over the past decades.”

neilh 11 Jul 2019
In reply to TobyA:

Is that not what happens in London with these high performing schools that wear uniforms in deprived areas? 

Perhaps it’s a middle class thing that parents do not want their children in uniforms .........

In reply to Tom V:

> Dax H 's post early this morning has a "like" majority of around 90 in favour of school uniform so it could be argued that anti-uniform people are as far away from the UKC mindset as are Brexiters and even Rolf Harris fans.

Hardly indicative of an overall opinion though. It is an honest post that is very difficult to dislike since it is a personal story. But it is single case and it doesn't indicate that, had the school been permanently non-uniform, the situation would have been the same. Non-uniforms days are as daft an idea as uniform in my opinion since they only focus the issue to 'you are what you wear'. Of course kids are going to react in those circumstances.

Alan

summo 11 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

> Perhaps it’s a middle class thing that parents do not want their children in uniforms .........

Or perhaps having worn uniforms themselves at school they can see it is just a charade. Or rather than just accept tradition, they've questioned it's value?

Even with the success stories of schools improving, it's impossible to attribute it to uniforms. They may have improved despite uniforms not because of, it's impossible to prove. 

In reply to neilh:

>  To quote from post at 1747 

>  “It was interesting to see that as our results improved and our reputation grew, the uniform code became increasingly better observed and less a source of conflict. I attributed this to the fact that the students were increasingly proud of the school and keen to be identified with it. I should point out that this was an absolutely 'bog standard' comp in terms of the spread of ability of our intake, but we scored very highly (top 5%) on the various 'value-added' measures that have been trialled over the past decades.”

But what does that actually prove? As with all these anecdotal stories the cause and effect are backwards. Yes, pupils are going to be prouder to be associated with a good and successful school, and that may make some of them happier to wear a uniform, but there is no way you can attribute that improvement to the actual uniform.

Alan

baron 11 Jul 2019
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

Some schools use uniform as part of a home school agreement.

Parents sign up to the agreement which as part of a package ensures that pupils get the support from home that makes such a difference to how well children do in school.

In reply to TobyA:

> But also very hard to show that they are not a positive also. Basically, it's part of the UK education system for historical reasons, it could be changed but there is a lot of inertia stopping it, particularly when we don't really know whether it would make much (any?) difference.

Surely the incentive to prove that uniforms are positive and worthwhile should be with those advocating their use, not with those who are saying "why don't we just let our kids go to school in clothes they already own". However, you are totally right that it is very much a thing of tradition, and every country has its bizarre traditions as you illustrated below .....

> Institutions are things that have become sedimented social reality. The reasons why they stick around might have very little to with what they were originally intended for. A big chunk of my doctoral thesis was on the Finnish conscription system - it's very hard to find a military expert Finnish or not - who thinks conscripting all young men is a good way to build a modern military, it quite clearly isn't for many reasons. But the institution remains, has a lot of public support, and doesn't seem to be going anywhere soon, no matter how many annoying outsiders write dissertations and articles pointing these things out!

Although in itself this is a pretty poor justification for bizarre traditions. It's shit, we know it's shit, but we are not going to do anything about it or even bother justifying it.

Alan

Jim Hamilton 11 Jul 2019
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

> Not in Sheffield. There are a few of the top schools that do, but King Teds and High Storrs are good schools. 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/special/education/school_tables/secondary/12/html/eng_maths_373.stm?compare=

Silverdale, King Ecgbert, Tapton all seem to have uniforms, King Edward someway down the list?

I see High Storrs also have a list of clothing requirements which perhaps leads to the same sort arguments over what is acceptable.  

neilh 11 Jul 2019
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

I agree it is clearly ridiculous to say that uniform is the source of the improvement, nobody is saying that.

It is just part of the package.

Out of interest do you know any high performing schools which do not wear uniforms, there are certainly none round where I am.

And as you said  the 2 in Sheffield wear uniforms.

I appreciate the European context, but that is not the norm socially in the UK .I would love school children to be eating like the French do, but it is just not going to happen here where we have as a society a different view.

TobyA 11 Jul 2019
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

> Although in itself this is a pretty poor justification for bizarre traditions. It's shit, we know it's shit, but we are not going to do anything about it or even bother justifying it.

I agree with much of what you say Alan, but from a social science point of view, I don't think we know its shit and I think we definitely don't all know that either - lots of people strongly believe the opposite with some evidence and a lot of anecdote to support their view.

It's an odd comparison in some ways, but militaries have many social purposes beyond fighting wars no matter how much we want to say that's their prime task. So for Finland universal male conscription is deemed important for many reasons beyond providing a fighting force. It might not be the optimal way of staffing a modern military, although some believe it is (c.f. Israel for example), but it does that well enough, as well as then providing various other social functions. Maybe school uniform is similar?

My kids are at an Ofsted outstanding rated comp just outside of Sheffield, and currently have that standard blazer and clip-on-tie of many schools. The head is about to retire who has obviously been quite a force pushing the schools standard, and the newly appointed head has already said he will hold a consultation on relaxing the uniform code. Again I was surprised that my kids didn't seem to care much either way, they started their schooling in Finland with no uniforms but don't seem in the slightest bit bothered about having to wear it now!

In reply to Jim Hamilton:

> Silverdale, King Ecgbert, Tapton all seem to have uniforms, King Edward someway down the list?

That list of schools is easily explained if you look at catchment area. Absurd to suggest that uniform has anything to do with it.

> I see High Storrs also have a list of clothing requirements which perhaps leads to the same sort arguments over what is acceptable.  

I think you will find all schools have those. 

Alan

Post edited at 09:57
In reply to neilh:

> Out of interest do you know any high performing schools which do not wear uniforms, there are certainly none round where I am.

I have already produced two perfectly decent schools in Sheffield, and Jim's list above puts High Storrs right up there. Are there actually any non-uniform schools near you?

> I appreciate the European context, but that is not the norm socially in the UK .I would love school children to be eating like the French do, but it is just not going to happen here where we have as a society a different view.

Again, this is like Toby's point above. "It's the way we have done it in the past and that is the main justification for continuing to do it."

I am glad we don't have that approach to everything, although sadly it is a bit too prevalent in this country where the 'Britain is best' attitude is usually espoused by people who have never bothered to look at what the alternatives are in other countries.

Alan

Jenny C 11 Jul 2019
In reply to Jim Hamilton:

> I see High Storrs also have a list of clothing requirements which perhaps leads to the same sort arguments over what is acceptable.  

I have no idea how the dress code is enforced these days, but back when I was there it was very much common sense.

Much like in a workplace restrictions were based on unsuitability and gave a good compromise between freedom of choice and learning to stay within boundaries. 

Jim Hamilton 11 Jul 2019
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

> That list of schools is easily explained if you look at catchment area. Absurd to suggest that uniform has anything to do with it.

I agree catchment is all. I was querying the comment that better performing Sheffield schools didn't have uniforms

Andy Clarke 11 Jul 2019
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

> But what does that actually prove? As with all these anecdotal stories the cause and effect are backwards. Yes, pupils are going to be prouder to be associated with a good and successful school, and that may make some of them happier to wear a uniform, but there is no way you can attribute that improvement to the actual uniform.

> Alan

Just to clarify, I wasn't arguing that our uniform was one of the causes of our high achievement, I was pointing out that getting rid of it would have been a counter - productive distraction from more important initiatives. I was also providing an example of a top performing school with uniform. I'm not clear as to whether there are examples of outstanding - as opposed to good - English state schools without uniform. (Maybe in the Oxbridge catchments?) As a head, I wasn't prepared to settle for good. One last point: I can't think of any of my headteacher colleagues who 'turned around' a struggling school without tightening up on uniform standards. 

neilh 11 Jul 2019
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

I do not think anybody has said “ it is Britain at its best” .  Nobody has harked back to the Victorian times . 

As you said in one of your earlier posts you wanted your children to be individuals and your view is a reflection of that. 

I cannot think of any non uniform schools that I wanted my children to go to, which is perhaps the point .

nor was uniform something I got annoyed over. More important things like why the ICT teacher at A level( in a class of 9) did not know my daughter wanted to do computer science at uni. Got a 1st despite that. 

Post edited at 11:18
In reply to Andy Clarke:

> Just to clarify, I wasn't arguing that our uniform was one of the causes of our high achievement, I was pointing out that getting rid of it would have been a counter - productive distraction from more important initiatives.

I can see that and, in the current climate of woeful under investment in education and general backward attitude from the current and previous education ministers, I would fully agree that uniform is no where near the top of the list of urgent requirements. If we one day, in the future, maybe, returned to a state where education was in a good place, then it would be nice to raise this as a reasonable topic for action. Currently, we are miles from that.

> I was also providing an example of a top performing school with uniform. I'm not clear as to whether there are examples of outstanding - as opposed to good - English state schools without uniform. (Maybe in the Oxbridge catchments?) As a head, I wasn't prepared to settle for good.

But that doesn't really show anything since uniforms have become almost ubiquitous.

> One last point: I can't think of any of my headteacher colleagues who 'turned around' a struggling school without tightening up on uniform standards. 

Maybe not, but is this based on evidence or perception? Has anyone actually tried it?

Alan

Andy Clarke 11 Jul 2019
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

> Maybe not, but is this based on evidence or perception? Has anyone actually tried it?

I doubt anyone has. I think most heads' instinct is to work with conventional perceptions. I saw myself as both liberal and maverick, but I was quite prepared to play the game if it helped achieve the school's big dreams. 

summo 11 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

>  .  Nobody has harked back to the Victorian times . 

But that is where some schools currently are with religious separation  etc. Morning assemblies, nativity plays.. The notion that some how the smarter you dress the better person you are. 

baron 11 Jul 2019
In reply to summo:

So you want to remove nativity plays and the associated fun of dressing up with a tea towel on your head and a snake belt to fasten it on?

What’s up? Didn’t you get picked to be a shepherd when you were at school?

summo 11 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

> So you want to remove nativity plays and the associated fun of dressing up with a tea towel on your head and a snake belt to fasten it on?

I'd rather that facts were taught in a place of learning. 

For entertainment a look at the West End would indicate there are a multitude of themes that can be used without the need to embrace religion. Ours kids two productions this year have been an earth week theme and Disney classics. 

Unless the UK wishes to keep educating children of different fictional beliefs separately it needs to consider that perhaps religion is something best practiced at home. 

Jenny C 11 Jul 2019
In reply to summo:

> Unless the UK wishes to keep educating children of different fictional beliefs separately it needs to consider that perhaps religion is something best practiced at home. 

I would love to see a complete ban on religious affiliation in all state funded schools. 

neilh 11 Jul 2019
In reply to summo:

Who suggested that. I think it is in your eyes.

baron 11 Jul 2019
In reply to summo:

While you might be scientifically correct in your belief that there is no god you don’t express the views of most of the worlds population.

Schools don’t indoctrinate children they teach them about people’s beliefs.

1
TobyA 11 Jul 2019
In reply to summo:

> and Disney classics. 

So even in Sweden they are being indoctrinated with racist and sexist stereotypes?!

The horror. Although its more evidence for my suspiscion that the Swedes aren't nearly as perfect as we tend to think they are. ;-)

neilh 11 Jul 2019
In reply to TobyA:

You might be onto something there, classes in Disney religion and the God that is "Walt". Great idea. Can we have a Star Wars session.

Oh the evils of capitalism

summo 11 Jul 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> So even in Sweden they are being indoctrinated with racist and sexist stereotypes?!

Guess that would depend on which elements of Disney is chosen. 

> The horror. Although its more evidence for my suspiscion that the Swedes aren't nearly as perfect as we tend to think they are. ;-)

I guess it's as perfect as any other Nordic country, or even the UK. You just live where best suits, no where is a perfect fit. 

summo 11 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

> Schools don’t indoctrinate children they teach them about people’s beliefs.

Starting with a morning assembly that is always the same faith? Or if you go to the local RC church you have a greater chance of a place in the local RC school? 

summo 11 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

> You might be onto something there, classes in Disney religion and the God that is "Walt". Great idea. Can we have a Star Wars session.

In June when they finished for summer(music and songs) our eldests class did a homage to Avicii. God does indeed move in mysterious ways. 

baron 11 Jul 2019
In reply to summo:

Yes I should have excluded faith schools.

You will find that most UK state schools don’t start the day with a Christian based assembly.

girlymonkey 11 Jul 2019
In reply to summo:

I have never yet met someone who went to a RC school and came out with any kind of Catholic faith!! I know many who came out as ardent atheists! It seems the indoctrination they are successful at is anti faith!!

summo 11 Jul 2019
In reply to girlymonkey:

> I have never yet met someone who went to a RC school and came out with any kind of Catholic faith!! I know many who came out as ardent atheists! It seems the indoctrination they are successful at is anti faith!!

Whilst I'd see that as a success, I'm not sure I would use it as a justification for religious schools. 

summo 11 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

> Yes I should have excluded faith schools.

> You will find that most UK state schools don’t start the day with a Christian based assembly.

Teachers are trusted by pupils to teach them facts, always give an honest answer etc.. But then teachers in many schools also support completely unproven beliefs. 

I my view there should not be any religious assemblies, they are divisive. Certainly here there are no whole school(at the schools I know of) assemblies, they start in their class, register taken, any admin or events, phones handed in, then the pupil of the week or day speaks to the class to tell them the day, date, what the lessons are, any significance of the date, the lunch menu(everyone eats lunch there). So 10mins after the start of school time they are straight into lessons.

Post edited at 14:07
elsewhere 11 Jul 2019
In reply to girlymonkey:

Religious Education is God's gift to atheism.

Post edited at 14:09
Hooo 11 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

> Out of interest do you know any high performing schools which do not wear uniforms, there are certainly none round where I am.

Out of interest I just looked up my old school. It still has no uniform and it got outstanding at the last Ofsted 

No choice for my daughter though. Where we live now there is not a single state school within a reasonable distance that doesn't have a uniform.

girlymonkey 11 Jul 2019
In reply to summo:

Sadly what they do in Glasgow and presumably also in NI is they reinforce sectarian divides (something which I see as having nothing to do with faith - if they actually practised the faith they claim to fight for, they wouldn't fight!! It's just large scale gang violence). Another good reason not to have uniform, as that reinforces the perceived differences outside of school. I think fostering a sense of school identity really doesn't help to heal the sectarian divides! Getting rid completely would obviously help more though! There are some crazy schemes in greater Glasgow where they have a Catholic and a non-denominational school sharing a campus, but with different uniforms, different entrances etc. I can't see how that helps in any way!  

baron 11 Jul 2019
In reply to summo:

There are assemblies that aren’t held for religious purposes.

Many of them celebrate children’s successes or remember world events.

They are an important part of many a schools curriculum 

1
summo 11 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

> Many of them celebrate children’s successes or remember world events.

> They are an important part of many a schools curriculum 

A fortnightly meet I can understand. But how can there possibly be a need for anything more frequent. If there is so much alleged pressure on staff and time they should be scrapped. 

Daily religious blurb, the music teacher on the piano etc.  Belongs in history. 

Edit. Our school just has a website and a teachers blog. So there are no endless hand outs of bits of paper or information kids forget to pass on. You just have look every week or so. 

Post edited at 14:51
1
baron 11 Jul 2019
In reply to summo:

You haven’t been in a UK school recently, have you?

summo 11 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

> You haven’t been in a UK school recently, have you?

No. The fact that there are still uniforms, religious schooling still exists etc. Are good enough reasons to be grateful I don't need to. I've read nothing on this thread or others to suggest I've made a poor choice with our kids education by exiting the UK. 

I've heard no compelling argument for either uniforms or religion in schools, have you? 

Post edited at 15:09
1
TobyA 11 Jul 2019
In reply to summo:

> Daily religious blurb, the music teacher on the piano etc.  Belongs in history. 

I think your impression of what the average English (probably Welsh as well, but I've no experience of Scottish schools) secondary is like might be rather historical too.

summo 11 Jul 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> I think your impression of what the average English (probably Welsh as well, but I've no experience of Scottish schools) secondary is like might be rather historical too.

Maybe so, but as I said I've heard nothing here, from friends and family in the UK and elsewhere to make think they've quite embraced the 21st century just yet. 

1
Ridge 11 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

> celebrate children’s successes 

Corporate jargon enters the classroom. Prepares the kids for the world of work I suppose...

1
baron 11 Jul 2019
In reply to Ridge:

> Corporate jargon enters the classroom. Prepares the kids for the world of work I suppose...

It is a celebration assembly.

It does what it says on the tin.

It encompasses children’s activities both inside and outside school.

Sometimes one of the few times a child will hear positive things said about and to them.

Useful for boosting the self confidence of children, even those who aren’t academically gifted.

Ridge 11 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

> Useful for boosting the self confidence of children, even those who aren’t academically gifted.

Useful for boosting the confidence of either children with a talent for self publicity or selected children based on whatever particular corporate/social message the school is promoting that week.

90% of the kids will learn to keep their heads down to avoid the cringefest, which TBH is what most adults eventually realise is the best way to keep off the radar at work.

1
neilh 11 Jul 2019
In reply to Ridge:

Load of cynical claptrap , glad you are not running my children’s education. I would run a mile from you if you did not want to celebrate young people successes  in their respective interests.

3
Ridge 11 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

You'll be pleased to know I'm not involved in education in any way shape or form. It's my opinion based on my own observations, both as a child and in work. Other opinions are obviously available.

baron 11 Jul 2019
In reply to Ridge:

You’ll be over the moon to know that some schools have an ‘invisible child’ policy which identifies any child that might have slipped below the radar.

We celebrate these children’s successes no matter how big or small.

marsbar 11 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

Kids in deprived areas need to know that teachers care about them.  

Constantly hassling kids about uniform is a way of demonstrating that.  

It is not the best way but it is one way.  

It's not about the uniform it's about the staff bothering to enforce boundaries.  

Personally there are other battles I'd pick but that's me.  

There's a kid I teach at the moment who misses lessons all over the places and wanders off regularly.  Never misses mine.  I nag him about his shoes and his tie.   Other people don't bother.  He knows I care enough to nag him.  His mum doesn't.  

Post edited at 18:13
1
neilh 11 Jul 2019
In reply to Ridge:

I prefer to listen to professionals who for the most part know what they are doing. 

Parents  usually make poor educators and have a high opinion of what is right but educationally is usually wrong.

1
Ridge 11 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

> I prefer to listen to professionals who for the most part know what they are doing. 

> Parents  usually make poor educators and have a high opinion of what is right but educationally is usually wrong.

You'll be even more pleased to know I'm (intentionally) not a parent either

I'll admit I was perhaps a bit OTT with my comments, but I had wasted 2 hours of my life at work in one of our 'mandatory' celebrations of people shamelessly claiming credit for other people's efforts. 

marsbar 11 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

I'm a professional.  I just don't agree with you.  

marsbar 11 Jul 2019
In reply to Ridge:

...rewards and punishments have no place in the Montessori classroom because it is important for children to work from their own self-motivation. If children work in order to get a gold star, some other prize or to avoid the disapproval of an adult it is impossible for a teacher to see what the child’s true interests are....

marsbar 11 Jul 2019
In reply to Ridge:

"The reality is that children get so much satisfaction from their work that nothing else is needed. The work itself becomes its own reward."

"... we witness this on a daily basis in our classroom. We see the look of accomplishment on a child’s face when they do anything from build the pink tower to complete the trinomial cube; a sticker would fade into insignificance when compared to the feeling of satisfaction."

A recent article in the Washington Post described how we are creating a generation of narcissistic children by continual over praise. It talks of a report studying children between the ages of 7 and 11. The premise is just as interesting when applied to early years.

If children are constantly told they are special and cleverer/faster/better than other children – they may internalise the view that they are superior. This becomes the core of narcissism. On the other hand, if children are appreciated and shown affection by their parents, the feeling they internalise is the view that they are valuable individuals – and this is the core of self-esteem.

Everything we do in a Montessori classroom is to promote a child’s ability to do things for themselves and so develop a great sense of self-esteem. 

marsbar 11 Jul 2019
In reply to Ridge:

The basic fact remains that children are designed to learn, they love to learn, they love to master skills, they are little sponges for information.  

Yet somehow we have managed to invent and evolve a system where too many children are resistant to education.  

We praise to the point where it is meaningless.  We tell them what to wear.  We make them look like clones.  The common sense safety rules become lost in a world of arbitrary wielding of power.  

We tell them what to do instead of telling them to work out for themslves how to solve a problem.  We teach them to be quiet and pass exams.  

1
wintertree 11 Jul 2019
In reply to marsbar:

> The basic fact remains that children are designed to learn, they love to learn, they love to master skills, they are little sponges for information.  

Between exposure to my three-year-old and their friends, I am blown away by how strong their genetic programming is to learning and deep understanding.  Switch contexts to my small-group teaching with 18 and 19-year-olds and I regularly find myself asking “where did it all go wrong?”. It seems the school system and society manages to suppress the very best bits of our genetic heritage.

> We tell them what to do instead of telling them to work out for themslves how to solve a problem.  We teach them to be quiet and pass exams.  

A lot of what I do in the teaching part of my time basically comes down to trying to deprogram people after the A-level system.  They have learnt a whole bunch of practices that got them a raft of AA**++++ grades and very little understanding.  Looking through some past A-level papers in my subject, I actually got rather angry. What is the point? What are we doing?

1
marsbar 11 Jul 2019
In reply to wintertree:

It's a conversation that needs to be had.  

1
Ridge 11 Jul 2019
In reply to marsbar:

> If children work in order to get a gold star, some other prize or to avoid the disapproval of an adult it is impossible for a teacher to see what the child’s true interests are....

Couldn't agree more. It's fascinating to watch fairly mature adults in senior positions devoting vast amounts of time to try and 'win' awards for 'excellence' at the expense of actually doing a good job. The rest of us who'll end up sorting out the mess when the 'celebrations’ are over and the 'winners' are trying to muscle in on the next high profile project just exchange knowing looks.

I wonder if that desperation springs from prize giving at school, especially when the recipient has a narcissistic personality? Plus I can think of a few children who'd be mortified to be dragged into some 'celbration' of being second from last in the egg and spoon race due to some school policy to identify them being 'off the radar'.

Ridge 11 Jul 2019
In reply to wintertree:

> Between exposure to my three-year-old and their friends, I am blown away by how strong their genetic programming is to learning and deep understanding.  Switch contexts to my small-group teaching with 18 and 19-year-olds and I regularly find myself asking “where did it all go wrong?”. It seems the school system and society manages to suppress the very best bits of our genetic heritage.

I went to a pretty poor comprehensive in the late 70's / early 80s, (in fact I'm sure the PE teachers thought Brian Glover in 'Kes' was a role model). I was really into science and tech at junior school and used to read fairly technical science books for fun. Science lessons at the comprehensive managed to suck pretty much any interest in the subject out of me.

summo 11 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

> It is a celebration assembly.

> It does what it says on the tin.

You are joking, sounds horrendous, a cringefest. They'll be in for a shock when they meet the real world and they need to graft hard with only their own pride as reward for it. 

> Sometimes one of the few times a child will hear positive things said about and to them.

> Useful for boosting the self confidence of children, even those who aren’t academically gifted.

Shouldn't this just be part of a teachers daily job in class, support and praise for hard work, regardless of the level of attainment? 

Post edited at 22:00
1
baron 11 Jul 2019
In reply to summo:

It’s a special school.

The pupils met the real world a long time ago.

The celebration assembly is part of the constant encouragement that pupils receive throughout the day.

Greenbanks 11 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

Good man. Thank you.

summo 11 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

Special? 

Learning difficulties(various letter combinations), kids expelled from mainstream education, assisted learning for say downs? 

wintertree 11 Jul 2019
In reply to marsbar:

> It's a conversation that needs to be had.  

For my sins I will soon be lecturing several hundred kids 5 months out of A-level.

I intend to have quite a bit of time away from the actual subject area and spend it helping them understand how they each need to find their own learning strategy, and to try and convince them they’re not competing with their peers but should judge their individual improvement and development, and help them understand the fact their studies are really challenging them for the first time in their lives should be an opportunity to grow, not a trigger for stress, anxiety or depression.

Also I’m going to beg them not to spend all their time doing past papers, and to show and explain their workings.

baron 11 Jul 2019
In reply to summo:

Moderate to severe learning difficulties, autism, fragile x, hemiplgia, cockayne syndrome, downs, etc, etc,etc.

wintertree 11 Jul 2019
In reply to Ridge:

> Science lessons at the comprehensive managed to suck pretty much any interest in the subject out of me.

It seems it was pot luck back then - you either got a sole destroying science teacher, or you got someone who went on to author various now-legendary (and rather proscribed) cookbooks or handbooks to “home chemistry”, and who festooned lessons with exciting practical demonstrations.  

Fast forwards to the 1990s and my 6th form teacher’s main claim to fame was having taught Blur in his lunchtime Rock Workshop a few years before.  He used to mercilessly rip the piss strumming his guitar with a gormless face in lessons.  1990s Bomb squads were helping deal with leftover stock in store cupboards from the previous era.  I recall one instance of a teacher quietly and carefully re-hydrating some TNP (I think it was that) to avoid calling them out and to allow him to, er, safely dispose of it on his own initiative.

wintertree 11 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

> I prefer to listen to professionals who for the most part know what they are doing. 

I’ve been on a course run by people who do teacher education.

I can’t really say much more on here without contravening an employer’s social media policy.

I said a lot more to those people and to the employer.  I tried my best to be constructive although at one point the constructive approach was to say “what the actual f**k?”.

I take your point and Ridge’s point on the issue.  My take:  I find it really tiresome when I have adults who need constant praise for their achievements; I find this a troubling mindset - if they need me to praise them, they aren’t recognising or taking pride in their own achievements.  Me - if I achieve something I bloody well know it, I know what it cost me and I know what it means.  That closes the loop on recognising the link between working a problem and achieving.  It’s a mental place where the “growth mindset”, rock climbing and success in life all meet.  I also however take the point that for kids with a deficient home life, school is the only place they’re going to get positive reinforcement and what you and a couple of other posters are supporting is a major help to them.  That’s how I take your point and Ridge’s point - what’s good for some children encourages a fixed and limiting mindset for others.  Horses for courses.  The problem then is when a school has some enforced Ethos and Way Of Doing Things without freedom of judgement, and that it’s very problematic to not treat all children the same.

TobyA 11 Jul 2019
In reply to summo:

> You are joking, sounds horrendous, a cringefest. They'll be in for a shock when they meet the real world and they need to graft hard with only their own pride as reward for it. 

For god's sake man, why are you being so ridiculously argumentative about this. We get it by now that the Swedish system is infinitely better than the British system (which you don't actually seem to have any contemporary experience of). End of year award ceremonies are actually quite nice - lots of quiet kids who get on with everything without making fuss and without disrupting other students, don't get much public praise. So if they get a subject effort prize, or a subject attainment prize, good for them. They're kids after all, they are normally quite chuffed when they realise that adults appreciate the effort they put in.

> Shouldn't this just be part of a teachers daily job in class, support and praise for hard work, regardless of the level of attainment? 

Of course it is, although sometimes its actually hard to do that well when you are dealing with 20 out of 32 14-year olds in a class, who really have very little interest in being in the lesson beyond seeing if they can get through an hour without doing any work.

Post edited at 23:23
summo 12 Jul 2019
In reply to baron:

> Moderate to severe learning difficulties, autism, fragile x, hemiplgia, cockayne syndrome, downs, etc, etc,etc.

In which case your cringe fest, praise ceremony may be more appropriate. But I'd suggest that for 99% of the school population the reward should come from directly seeing the results of their own efforts, not having smoke blown up their butt just to make them feel better. There is a difference between support, motivation and false praise. 

Ps. Sounds like a challenging and interesting job in equal measures.

1
summo 12 Jul 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> Of course it is, although sometimes its actually hard to do that well when you are dealing with 20 out of 32 14-year olds in a class, who really have very little ....

Which makes you wonder why the UK obsesses with elements which are unlikely to improve this? 

Sweden isn't better, just different. If a person likes the differences in another country then that's what they perceive as better for them. I despise uniforms and religion, i love sport, sciences but also the inclusiveness of everyone eating free school lunch together. The end result when they leave education at 19 or 23 is likely to be pretty much the same in academic terms but I perceive the journey to be a more enjoyable stress free one for all sides. 

What the UK seems to do if things don't work is blindly push on and even harder in the same direction. More tests, 11 plus, stricter uniforms, no term time holidays etc. Perhaps it should take a step back and review things a little. (Yes I know teachers are always having changes forced on them).

Mobile phones, parental support, funding etc are probably more critical than the above but tougher to deal with. Also the slowly improving vocational or apprenticeship schemes in the UK probably don't help motivation as kids don't see a clear route through to the next stage. 

girlymonkey 12 Jul 2019
In reply to Pullhard:

Interestingly, these kids don't seem to wear uniform and it seems like a great wee school! 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/stories-48950673/improving-kids-mental-health-with-dogs-therapy-and-quiet-classrooms

Great to see some real forward thinking going on. 

neilh 12 Jul 2019
In reply to wintertree:

I do not disagree with what you are saying. What I do not like hearing from is parents who know "best" if you get what I am saying.

Education is always evolving.

When you read that in Germany 13 % approx of school leavers leave with no educational qualifications ( and are then shut out of their technical courses),.Then your daughter at Uni comments that there are alot of French students there because they cannot get places at French Unis.You also realise that other countries may not have such a great system ( except of course where Summo lives).

Post edited at 09:50
1
summo 12 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

> When you read that in Germany 13 % approx of school leavers leave with no educational qualifications...,.Then your daughter at Uni comments that there are alot of French students there because they cannot get places at French Unis.You also realise that other countries may not have such a great system ( except of course where Summo lives).

Far from perfect but there are systems in place to catch people who are at risk. There are no educational options until after aged 16, everyone sits the whole curriculum and are graded accordingly. Risk failing in core subjects then pupils will have the option of going back a year. Better to leave late with some education than the opposite. Especially now as all the unskilled work is often being taken up by adult migrants who perhaps had very little education in their homeland and don't speak Swedish that well. 

If people like the UK system then that's great for them. I don't and did something about it before our kids reached school age as changing schools and systems mid education could have been more damaging.  

Post edited at 10:10
neilh 12 Jul 2019
In reply to summo:

You clearly come across as having a real bee in your bonnet about the UK system and that your chosen way of dealing with it is the solution.As I said I prefer not to listen to parents who know best.

And TobyA's comments about the other side of the Swedish system perhaps give a more realistic overview.

No disrespect.

Post edited at 10:17
summo 12 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

> You clearly come across as having a real bee in your bonnet about the UK system and that your chosen way of dealing with it is the solution.

It's not as though I had the power to change the UK system. So rather than be one of those just complaining and doing nothing, I did something. 

> As I said I prefer not to listen to parents who know best.

Because teachers know best?

> And TobyA's comments about the other side of the Swedish system perhaps give a more realistic overview.

One website he linked is pure click bait, the news of the world of English websites in sweden. The politician that was quoted is a bit like Corbyn and wants all schooling to be state run and directly controlled. Pisa results are poorer than in the past but with literally thousands of migrant children entering the Swedish education, plus coming from places that haven't had efficient schooling for years it's not surprising. Sometimes some carefully chosen articles don't give the whole picture. As i said schools are more stretched, our kids class size has grown from 15 to 20, but those are figures many UK teachers can only dream of. 

> No disrespect.

Absolutely no offence taken. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, even non teacher parents. 

Post edited at 10:36
1
duchessofmalfi 12 Jul 2019
In reply to marsbar:

Constantly hassling kids about uniform is a way to demonstrate care? There has been some patronising bollocks written on this thread but I think this tops the lot.

4
wintertree 12 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

> What I do not like hearing from is parents who know "best" if you get what I am saying.

I do get it and - perhaps unsurprisingly - I have mixed views on this that boils down to “context is for kings”.

A parent has the potential to know their child far better than anyone else, and may well know less about - or have less experience of - educating children.  Ying and yang.  The main issue I see is people generalising their personal experiences on to others - parent or teacher - and this comes down to people thinking they know best without a rational, defensible and evidenced stance from which to do so.

I don’t go in to meetings with people assuming I know best, but I do have belief in my perspective and how I came to it, and I have no time for people with an “I’m a professional, I know best” attitude.  I also have no problem making my views known very clearly when someone pulls that card on me.  If they are a professional they should be able to engage with me and demonstrate why I should trust them.  

I am visiting junior schools for Wintertree, Jr.  With my and my dad’s dyslexia I am keen to make sure the schools we put down as options have good SEN support.  I didn’t get to meet the SENCOs, but in talking with various heads it was very clear to me that some of them are significantly better placed than others to support their staff in this.  I say this from my professional experience of supporting adult SENs more than my personal experience - the former has taught me a lot about helping people help themselves, the later taught me how catastrophic a lack of support can be.

neilh 12 Jul 2019
In reply to summo:

You do know there is research to show that bigger class sizes produces better results overall for children. 

neilh 12 Jul 2019
In reply to wintertree:

I would suggest it is a partnership on both sides which is what you are saying.Strikes me as usually achieving the best results for both sides.

summo 12 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

> You do know there is research to show that bigger class sizes produces better results overall for children. 

Curious, but how could you eliminate all the variables? 

We have friends in the dales campaigning to keep a very small school going where in one year there were only 2 pupils, less than forty kids in all the primary and junior ages split over two sites  Seems pointless and potentially counter productive to the overall goal. Team games, group interaction, communication and a teacher trying to cover 4 different ages in one classroom must be a nightmare. Of course too big and you have other issues. There will no doubt be an optimal size or range and it probably varies with subject too. 

marsbar 12 Jul 2019
In reply to duchessofmalfi:

I've taught hundreds of kids whose own parents don't give a flying f@#$ about them over the last 20 years.  

Ridiculous as it sounds those kids do appreciate being nagged.  

It's not a good thing.  But it is my experience.  

marsbar 12 Jul 2019
In reply to neilh:

I'd love to read that.  

> You do know there is research to show that bigger class sizes produces better results overall for children. 

Pullhard 13 Jul 2019
In reply to Pullhard:

Bloody heck what a debate, didn’t realise it was so emotive.


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