chapter  17
School uniform Armageddon
Pages 6

Here’s a thing that gets dragged out more often than Paul McCartney: should schools have a uniform or not? Few things polarise the edu-debate more lazily than a good old toe-to-toe on the uniform issue. It animates schools councils, Radio 2 phone-ins, reformers, reductionists, rebels and reactionaries alike. It is the debate that dares to speak its name constantly. Most schools in the UK require students to wear a uniform: 82 per cent of all schools, 98 per cent of secondary, 79 per cent of primary.1 English schools have a largely free hand in the implementation and guidance on uniforms; Scottish schools are encouraged to have them, but are given no guidance about what constitutes uniform. So, uniforms in schools – do they help with anything? What impact do they have? Educational research, give me a beat I can follow.