The Schoolwear Association, in collaboration with YouGov, has revealed that, of those with an opinion, either way, 95% of those surveyed link good behaviour to wearing a consistent traditional school uniform during school time, supporting the current trend of back to basics on school attire.
Uniform places children in a similar frame of mind
95% of parents interviewed who have children at state school where uniform is required either agreed or disagreed, believing school uniform encourages better behaviour. The Schoolwear Association has found that most 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 on school uniform, 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 the following:
• 90% thought it helped with maintaining discipline;
• 87% agree uniform is better value than allowing children to wear their clothes;
• 83% do not agree that school uniform is less convenient than children wearing non-uniform;
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.
87% of parents who expressed an opinion either think school uniforms represent better value than allowing children to wear non-uniform. It is reassuring to see parents interviewed also emphasise the longevity (95%) and quality (96%) of uniforms. 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 individuality for a school, the strong positive message generated by branded school uniforms is important and shouldn’t be dismissed lightly.
Uniform is a helpful deterrent against bad conduct
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, and 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 a 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 at hand. School is a place to learn and be educated, and anything which helps facilitate this process should be encouraged.
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 and 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.Howard Wilder, Chairman of the Schoolwear Association
The Schoolwear Association was established in late 2006 as the school-specific school uniform sector trade body. 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.