Uniforms bring uniform levelling

16th September 2005 at 01:00
Some of the complaints Judith Gillespie listed sounded justified with the exception, I feel, of those regarding school uniform and its perceived impact on the "hidden curriculum". The wearing of the correct school uniform has, among other benefits, a dual impact on the society of a school. It is a visually observable badge of community and behavioural conformity.

Tucked away behind this, however, is the message that wearing a uniform is about the levelling of egos. By implication, it seems that the sixth-year pupil, who Mrs Gillespie says was sent home for not wearing a white shirt, could wear whatever he wanted by virtue of his "good clutch of Higher results". That translates as: "I'm successful, therefore societal rules do not apply to me."

We would all rather exult in the success of a considerate person, wouldn't we? The school that sent this pupil home was absolutely right.

Hopefully, the Scottish Parent Teacher Council will continue its research into the often throwaway, but not fully understood, appellation of "hidden curriculum".

I Riddell Secondary teacher

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