Thursday, 4 January 2007

School uniforms

A high school in Scotland is reinstating school uniforms - at the request of its own pupils. Craigroyston was the first to jettison school uniforms in the 1970s, with teachers and pupils wearing casual clothes in the classroom. Now, pupils have requested the uniforms back, in order to be able to express pride in being a Craigroyston pupil.

The report, on the BBC's Reporting Scotland this afternoon, also carried the opinions of leading education expert Sheila Riddell, who stated that school uniforms are impopular in continental Europe, because it is redolent of the Hitler Youth of the 1930s and 40s, and we don't want to bring up a generation of Hitler Youth. Well, her assertion regarding continental Europe is correct. But to extrapolate that to the UK is absolutely preposterous.

The Scouts wear uniforms, the Army and Airforce and Navy cadets wear uniforms. As the lad from Craigroyston said, it is to express pride in attending a certain school. I also think it stamps out the unhealthy competition between youngsters in wearing expensive designer clothes, which forces parents to shell out large amounts of money in order for their kid to keep up with the rest of the pack. I did not grow up in a culture of school uniforms, but do see the sense of them.

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  1. I agree with your last statement. Restricting personal choice over clothes does seem to reduce every one to be the same, coming from the same mould, it promotes uniformity under a certain Order. Unfortunately, our kids go beyond this type of 1940s thoughts and dictature... they fight over the best mobile phones and computers, so it does not change the bullying among the class differences. I would disagree with the assumption this lady made between the relationship of Europe not being in favour of uniforms at school and Hitler. This is non sense. I went into several schools in France, public and independent ones and the only school that required a uniform was a religious school. Is that an army? When I was under 10 years old, I had to wear what we called a "tablier" above my clothes, one of my choice. It looked like a short dress or a long shirt and I had many with different colours and patterns. I remember liking them a lot and that was to protect our clothes. Then it evolved to none at all. When kids start school, parents receive more than £600 per child to help them buy books and all that kids need to go properly to school, and instead of uniforms it might mean nice trainers and proper shirts and coats for winter. The indictrination has several levels; sometimes it is about the wearing of a uniform. I think each country has to understand why they do or don't like it. Europe is a very big world, and I am only speaking from experience, one that took place in France, and in the UK for my own children who are teenagers today.

  2. Sorry I made a mistake with the figures as I converted in dollars I don't know why. It's not £600 but £300.

  3. A agree.  I have often wished that our own public schools would institute a uniform policy.

  4. I've gone through almost 14 years of Catholic schooling, 13 of which require uniforms.  (Pre-School was more relaxed.)  Especially in high school, they were a source of pride at being Boylan Catholic students, instead of the 8 other area public high schools.  Uniforms are a very good idea and it's becoming more common for students to want them, I think.  

    Although I have to say I'm glad that next year in college (or at university as you say,) I won't have to bother with it.  


  5. I too like the idea of school uniforms as I think they give pupils a sense of belonging to their particular school. I must admit though as a youngster I hated wearing it, particularly the regulation black!

    Sandra xx

  6. Right on Guido!What were they thinking?! And anyway it takes other things to make aHitler youth!duh!