Uniform argument ties in with pupils' skewing the rules

18th June 2010 at 01:00
What is the point of uniforms?

Michael Coyle asks why many schools insist on uniforms, and he lists some reasons in order to dismiss them (May 21). Like him, I used to question their point, too; years of experience have now given me the answer.

Ironically, the purpose of uniforms is the precise one he sees as being the strongest argument against them - "picking on pleasant pupils whose school tie is slightly askew". A uniform allows perfectly pleasant pupils to rebel against the rules in a simple, non-threatening, easily remediable way.

Without a tie policy to subvert, a pupil who wishes to rebel must do so in another way. I, too, used to feel that it was mere nit-picking to ask for shirts to be tucked in (or out, depending on the school), especially as the student would then re-adjust their dress as soon as I was gone - but, in fact, that is the whole point.

To work properly, however, the whole staff must be strict (and polite) about it. I trust that Mr Coyle will at least consider this the next time he sees a tie askew.

Andrew Mulholland, Balormie Place, Lossiemouth.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now