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Considering a Uniform?



WHY SCHOOL UNIFORMS? We all want to belong, to be included and feel accepted. This is especially true in school where peer pressure can be the largest challenge of going to school. Students benefit from wearing a uniform to school, the most important way being the direct benefit of reducing social distractions and pressures due to appearance. Fashion differences create social divides and distractions. School uniforms are the great equalizer. Peer pressure and bullying are reduced. Everyone starts off equal. You can be judged on who you are and not on what you wear.

School uniforms promote the values of order and discipline. They allow students to focus on learning and social acceptance. They help students develop the habits of success.

Students aren’t the only ones that benefit from a school uniform. Parents and the school benefit as well.

How do parents benefit? Many parents who haven’t yet experienced having a child wear a uniform to school think that the uniform will be expensive. That is often the opinion before their first visit to the uniform store. However, speak to that same parent after their first visit and particularly a year later and that opinion invariably has changed. First, the parent isn’t faced with the high cost of purchasing fashion wear. Second, many uniform items last more than one year so that purchases for successive years most often involve purchasing only a limited part of the uniform. Uniforms are easy to care for and are manufactured for durability. They are also manufactured with comfortable fabrics and in sizing that will accommodate all students.

As important as the cost aspect is to families, most parents will say that one of the biggest benefits of a school uniform apart from reducing the impact of social pressures on their child to wear the newest trend is the amount of time and stress that the uniform saves in getting ready for the school day, including eliminating concerns about whether the outfit is appropriate for school. Simply put, everyone knows what the rules are and the stress level goes down. While parents benefit in these ways, so correspondingly do the student and teaching staff at the school.

How does the school benefit? The uniform engenders a sense of identity and camaraderie and pride in the institution and the school community. Conflict amongst students is reduced and an environment of inclusion and equality is promoted. Less conflict and discrimination means greater ability to focus on academic performance. There is reduced likelihood of conflict or violence between different social groups identified by appearance. There is less likelihood of theft of expensive fashion items. Security is enhanced as intruders are easily and immediately identifiable. While the school benefits in these ways, so correspondingly do the parents and the student.

There are many different types and styles of school uniforms. They all promote equality. They all promote security, inclusion and community. They all promote learning.

Uniforms are a statement. Students who wear a uniform are a visual statement of the values of the school. He or she is saying I am part of this school, I adhere to the school’s values, conduct and beliefs and I belong. I am included and I am accepted here.

Patti Koenig,
Founder Cambridge Uniforms