Come September, like most parents, I will be outside the house taking photos of my children looking smart on their way to school. This photo will inevitably be shared on social media with a sense of pride in their development, as well as their smart school uniform.
There is no shortage of theories on the relationship between the wearing of uniform and student outcomes such as behaviour and academic attainment. While evidence from the US shows there is a strong correlation, proof of the effectiveness of uniform-wearing in the UK is scarce.
When writing our policies for Whitelands, we have researched all available evidence, but also relied on our extensive experience. Without doubt, the highest-performing schools, which secure the best outcomes for students, have the highest standards when it comes to uniform and appearance. Therefore, at Whitelands, as we strive to help our students achieve the best outcomes possible, we too expect the highest standards in uniform and appearance.
In my opinion, there are many advantages to maintaining a high standard of uniform:
- School uniforms reduce clothing-related peer pressure. In one of my previous roles, head of sixth form, I wasn’t surprised that students aged 16-19 would request a uniform everytime we turned to the student voice.
- It prepares our students for their working life. Many careers involve dress codes, and recently the use of PPE has demonstrated the importance of discipline in adhering to a dress code. The earlier this can be stressed, the better.
- The wearing of a uniform will create pride in our school and our community.
- It can create an environment where standards in all areas, including behaviour, are high. Meeting a school uniform code requires a certain level of discipline from the student. When discipline is practised, it is then applied to other aspects of life.
- It may take students less time to get ready for school each morning which, if your mornings are like mine, can be helpful!
- School uniforms tend to cost less than traditional clothing, where a new ‘outfit’ can be expected each day.
Our vision is for Whitelands Academy to become an exceptional school where we focus on the whole student. Our school uniform, and the standards it brings, is a cornerstone of that vision. We have selected the uniform carefully to be good value, long lasting, and, above all else, smart.
We appreciate and understand that purchasing new school uniform can be a challenge, so we encourage any family with concerns about this to contact us.