Back to the old School – Uniform encourages behaviour!
The Schoolwear Association, in collaboration with YouGov has today revealed that, of those with an opinion either way, nineteen out of twenty people surveyed link good behaviour to wearing a consistent traditional uniform during school time, supporting the current trend of ‘back to basics’ on school attire.
With 95% of parents interviewed who have children at state school where uniform is required and either agreed or disagreed, believing school uniform encourages better behaviour. The Schoolwear Association has found the majority of parents interviewed believe it is an important form of discipline. Uniform places children in a similar frame of mind and is a ‘classical conditioning’ process – when children put school uniform on, they understand from an early age, they will be going to school to learn and concentrate, rather than simply to play.
Of those parents of children at state school where uniform is required and who agreed or disagreed, other interesting findings include: –
• 90% thought it helped with maintaining discipline;
• 87% agree uniform is better value than allowing children to wear their own clothes;
• 83% do not agree that school uniform is less convenient than children wearing own clothes;
Discipline has always been a hot topic in the education sector and one which parents are now placing higher up on their agenda as a priority for their offspring. The Schoolwear Association has seen a trend increase in formal schoolwear.
With 87% of parents interviewed who expressed an opinion either way, think school uniform represents better value than allowing children to wear their own clothes and it is reassuring to see parents interviewed also placed importance on the longevity (95%) and quality (96%) of uniform. A parent highlights “School uniform is excellent value for money. I can probably buy the whole of my youngest daughter’s uniform for less than a pair of Converse shoes and they last longer.” Creating an individuality for a school, the strong positive message generated by branded school uniform is important and shouldn’t be dismissed lightly.
Uniform is an important tool in the classroom to help in the teaching process as it helps to create school values, gives children a sense of belonging, generates discipline but also, on a more practical level, makes it easier for teachers to keep tabs on them outside of the school gates. The Schoolwear Association found teachers who took part in a focus group believe wearing recognisable uniform is a helpful deterrent against bad conduct in public as they are easily reportable. Placing children in the right mind set for studying, their uniform helps prepare them for professional life, providing a level playing field in terms of status and trend, allowing them to focus on the task in hand. School is a place to learn and be educated and anything which helps facilitate this process should be encouraged.
Howard Wilder, Chairman of the Schoolwear Association says “We know that a quality specialised uniform can create a strong identity for a school. We firmly believe that school uniform is part of our cultural heritage; it provides the wearer with many benefits including a ‘clothes discipline’ and the right mindset for school. A distinctive uniform can promote an invaluable sense of community within schools, aiding security and a sense of belonging, as well as improving attendance and general behaviour. We are happy that our research has shown that teachers and parents also recognise its value for their children and want to use it to its best advantage. “
The Schoolwear Association was established in late 2006 as the trade body for the school-specific school uniform sector. Representing the interests of over 200 specialists who sign its Code of Practice, it includes retailers, suppliers, direct-to-school, wholesalers, fabric manufacturers and garment decorators. The Schoolwear Association’s members clothe millions of school children and supply products to over 75% of the UK’s schools. Run on a largely voluntary basis by some of the sector’s most experienced professionals, the Association ensures that the member companies that make up the market have an opportunity to ensure their voice is heard when industry issues arise.