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.

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