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School Uniforms Essay

School Uniforms Essay | Short and Long Essays, Importance and Benefits of School Uniforms

School Uniforms Essay: School uniforms should be utilized in educational systems. Uniforms are both as useful for schools just as for the pupils. Wearing outfits will help construct a feeling of solidarity inside the school. Rather than everybody as a different group, everybody will be in a similar group. Wearing regalia will help free pupils of the pressure of what to wear in the first part of the day. Wearing school outfits will help improve understudy distinction and improve their confidence. To start with, wearing coordinating outfits can cause pupils to feel equivalent. Helpless pupils would at this point don’t feel rejected on the grounds that they are not wearing name-brand garments like the more extravagant children.

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What is a School Uniform?

In straightforward words, we comprehend that the Uniform or material which is recommended by the school for pupils to wear in school is called school uniform. Generally in all schools uniform is mandatory.The Uniform gives balance and comparability between the pupils, everything being equal. These days, all schools keep the principles of wearing a normalized uniform for all pupils.

How to Write a School Uniform Essay?

To write an essay students should know the proper format. Also, they should be well aware of the topic on which they have to write the essay. Writing an essay on school uniforms requires the knowledge of the merits and demerits of wearing a school uniform. Students should list down the advantages of uniforms in schools.

Remember these points while writing the essay on school uniform:

  • Give introduction on school uniform in the first paragraph
  • Explain the advantages and disadvantages of wearing a school uniform
  • Explain how wearing a uniform brings changes in students
  • Conclude the essay in the last paragraph

Short Essay on School Uniform 150 Words in English

School uniforms are the solitary most apparent fundamental components of any school. We can distinguish the understudy by assessing their regalia.

It is said that, in the sixteenth century, Christ’s Hospital School originally utilized the school uniform. There has been a discussion everywhere in the world on whether the subject of school uniforms is positive or negative. Common liberties activists say that school uniforms are removing their opportunity of wearing anything. In guard, the School Committee says they give a school uniform to instruct them in order and solidarity.

School uniforms can build the pay of a custom-fitted local area. And furthermore, a business organization can bring in cash by creating school regalia. School uniforms are a conventional clothing standard including a shirt and full gasp for young men and pullovers and creased skirts for young ladies. School dress can lessen fabric harassment.

Yet in addition, these days youngsters are more cognizant about their design sense and sexual direction, so they don’t prefer to wear a similar unisex clothing standard. However, after every one of those contentions and dubious speculations, we can say, school regalia are as a matter of fact pride for an understudy.

Benefits of School Uniforms

Long Essay on School Uniform 650 Words

Schools are instructive establishments where kids go not exclusively to learn course readings however to develop as a general person. Schools likewise have the assignment of showing youngsters the desire for garments and mention to them what is proper for what event. School outfits are a basic type of garments for pupils during their visit at school during school hours, and outside during true school exercises. A school uniform is normal in a large portion of the schools. They have direct requests to wear the school uniform as a matter of course.

The necessity of School Uniform

Initially, school is where we all progress at an extremely youthful age. In a single word, life starts at school. It’s schooling, as well as school, gives us the stage to sustain our confidence, feelings in the beginning phase of life. The significance of making companions, functioning as a group we get familiar with every one of these in school. What’s more, wearing a similar dress unquestionably brings a feeling of solidarity among pupils. In each school, there are pupils from various foundations yet with the school uniform everybody becomes one-the lone character rules at that point is every one of them is the delegate of a similar school. This is an incredible inclination of harmony. This likewise assists kids with defeating the inadequacy (or predominance) complex which here and their kids have due to the climate they have been raised in. School outfits streak out a large portion of the drops of social contentions.

As school makes our crucial nuts and bolts of the future it is critical to cause one to feel as a piece of the school. A youngster with a specific school uniform constantly feels that he has a place with the school. It makes the youngster more cognizant about his distinction which thus helps to build fearlessness. A kid would be more thoughtful to his kindred cohort who has a similar uniform as his. As referenced before there would be consistently a blended group in each school. Some of them are rich, some have a place with the upper working class and some lower than that-this distinction remains all over, aside from those 8 hours in school due to the school uniform. The supposed status cognizance doesn’t exist with this.

Benefits of School Uniform

Another admirable sentiment comes up while examining the benefits of school uniform is younger students go through two most significant progress times of life in school-they burn through 12 long a long time in school-from adolescence to teen, from adolescent to youth-the school observer the progressions ( both physical and mental) happen inside one. During these changes, somebody barely thinks often about the world. That time there is a propensity among us all to disrupt the norm which should be managed cautiously and strategically.

Now wearing school regalia assumes a quiet yet urgent part in our lives. It ingrains a profound established feeling of control in the psyche mind. Subsequently, typically even the riskiest formally dressed understudy wonders whether or not to do any underhandedness outside the school as the moment suspected plays to him that he will let down his school with his activity. School uniform assists an understudy with focusing on his necessities-where school and scholastics start things out.

Even after some elegantly composed diagrams of papers on school uniforms, the contention on whether a school uniform abuses the pupils’ privilege of articulation will stay a ceaseless conversation. Be that as it may, truly, wearing of regalia should all rely upon the conditions and the picture a given school is attempting to depict. In any case, the significance of school uniforms appears to win the day today even as I compose this end and surprisingly after so many school uniform articles have been composed. On the last note, we should attempt to discover perpetual methods of tackling the developing issues looked at by pupils. We ought not to depend on school regalia to swipe the issues away from view, this does the pupils nothing but bad.

Importance of School Uniform

The uniform is a necessary piece of our life. The dress is a character of somebody. Through the dress, we become acquainted with which school the understudy is. The educator has a crucial part in picking a dress. He chooses the school uniform by taking a gander at all the classes. Uniform symbols, alongside schooling, order, and decorum help in altering the state and course of society.

Wearing legitimate clothing expands our trust in the public arena since it positively affects our work and thinking. These days, our local area has gotten a matter of rivalry for our kids. It appears to be that their dress is influencing them every day.

The wearing of our kids has additionally become an essential factor somewhat for the criminal occurrences occurring in the public eye. In an understudy’s life, the educator and parent are the types of God. School dress is viewed as a recipe for equity.

Advantages of School Uniform

  • School uniforms are a need in many schools to achieve consistency in pupils.
  • School uniform binds together all pupils, paying little heed to their social, strict, and monetary foundation.
  • It imparts a feeling of having a place in the pupils.
  • It assists with restraining pupils and keeps everything under control since they are not occupied by their special garments.
  • pupils don’t have to object about what to wear each day in the event that they have school regalia.
  • It is hard for low-pay families to purchase school regalia each spending year, and it might make a strain in their financial plan.
  • School outfits force consistency and consequently make pupils a mass of anonymous kids and with no singularity.
  • It is hard for pupils to check their friend’s monetary condition in the event that they are wearing school dresses.
  • pupils can be not kidding about their examinations and figure out how to endeavor to be deserving of the custom.
  • School dress can make pupils unoriginal.

FAQ’s on Schools Uniforms Essay

Question 1. What students should wear uniforms in school?

Answer: Uniforms are both as useful for schools just as for the pupils. Wearing uniforms will help fabricate a feeling of loneliness inside the school. To start with, wearing coordinating uniforms can cause pupils to feel equivalent. Helpless pupils would presently don’t feel barred in light of the fact that they are not wearing name-brand garments like the more extravagant children.

Question 2. How to write an essay on a school uniform?

Answer: Start with an introduction, discuss the debate going on school uniforms by students, write the cons and pros of school uniforms. Explains the advantages and changes that wearing a school uniform can bring in students. End the essay with a conclusion.

Question 3. What is good about school uniforms?

Answer: School uniforms have been demonstrated to raise test scores, support confidence, diminish savagery and wrongdoing, and make a feeling of freshly discovered pride in pupils. They assist youngsters with zeroing in on learning and homework, not on the thing every other person is wearing or whether they fit in. Outfits are not the answer for the entirety of the issues that adolescents, instructors, and schools face today, however, examination and insights propose that they might be a positive development.

Question 4. Should students wear school uniforms?

Answer: Yes, all students should wear school uniforms since it represents discipline and equality among students in school.

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Expert Commentary

School uniforms: Do they really improve student achievement, behavior?

This updated collection of research looks at how mandatory school uniforms impact student achievement, attendance and behavior as well as the presence of gangs in public schools.

Students wearing school uniforms

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by Denise-Marie Ordway, The Journalist's Resource April 20, 2018

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Decades ago, uniforms were mostly worn by students who went to private or parochial schools. But as local school boards have focused more on improving standardized test scores and campus safety, a growing number have begun requiring school uniforms — typically, a polo shirt of a particular color paired with navy or khaki pants, skirts or shorts. Nearly 22 percent of public schools in the United States required uniforms in 2015-16 — up from almost 12 percent in 1999-2000, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

Proponents argue that students will pay more attention to their classwork if they aren’t preoccupied with fashion, and that they’ll be better behaved. Meanwhile, school administrators say uniforms help eliminate gang-related styles and logos. They also make it easier to spot a stranger on campus.

Despite their reported benefits, mandatory uniforms are controversial because a lot of parents and students don’t like the idea of forcing children to dress alike, which they say suppresses freedom of expression. Some families complain about the financial burden of purchasing uniforms in addition to their kids’ other clothing. Years ago, parents also complained that it was difficult to find uniforms, but that ceased to be an issue after large chain stores like Target and Wal-Mart began selling them.

As public schools debate the merits of uniforms — some school boards have been bouncing the idea around for years — it’s important for journalists to know what the research says on this topic. School officials do not always consult academic research before they put a plan on the table.

To help journalists ground their reporting and fact-check claims, Journalist’s Resource has rounded up several academic studies worth reviewing. Reporters may also want to examine reports on uniform use from the NCES, which collects and reports data related to school uniforms, dress codes and book bags in public schools.


 “School Discipline, School Uniforms and Academic Performance” Baumann, Chris; Krskova, Hana. International Journal of Educational Management , 2016. DOI: 10.1108/IJEM-09-2015-0118.

Summary: This study examines test scores and student behavior in the United States, Canada and 37 other countries to determine whether uniforms affect student discipline. The researchers found that the highest-performing students are the most disciplined. In addition, “for countries where students wear school uniforms, our study found that students listen significantly better, there are lower noise levels, and lower teaching waiting times with classes starting on time.”

“Dressed for Success? The Effect of School Uniforms on Student Achievement and Behavior” Gentile, Elizabetta; Imberman, Scott A. Journal of Urban Economics , 2012, Vol. 71. doi: 10.1016/j.jue.2011.10.002.

Abstract: “Uniform use in public schools is rising, but we know little about how they affect students. Using a unique dataset from a large urban school district in the southwest United States, we assess how uniforms affect behavior, achievement and other outcomes. Each school in the district determines adoption independently, providing variation over schools and time. By including student and school fixed-effects we find evidence that uniform adoption improves attendance in secondary grades, while in elementary schools they generate large increases in teacher retention.”

“Uniforms in the Middle School: Student Opinions, Discipline Data, and School Police Data” Sanchez, Jafeth E.; Yoxsimer, Andrew; Hill, George C. Journal of School Violence , 2012. DOI: 10.1080/15388220.2012.706873.

Summary: Researchers asked students at an urban middle school in Nevada what they thought of having to wear uniforms. Their public school had adopted a uniform policy after staff members became frustrated with the earlier dress code policy, which resulted in girls wearing revealing clothing and boys wearing shirts with inappropriate messages and images. The study’s main takeaway: The vast majority of students said they dislike uniforms, although some agreed there were benefits. “For example, in reference to gender, more than expected females than males indicated students treated them better with uniforms. Also, fewer females than males got detention for not wearing a uniform or for wearing a uniform inappropriately.”

“Are School Uniforms a Good Fit? Results from the ECLS-K and the NELS” Yeung, Ryan. Educational Policy , 2009, Vol. 23. doi: 10.1177/0895904808330170.

Abstract: “One of the most common proposals put forth for reform of the American system of education is to require school uniforms. Proponents argue that uniforms can make schools safer and also improve school attendance and increase student achievement. Opponents contend that uniforms have not been proven to work and may be an infringement on the freedom of speech of young people. Within an econometric framework, this study examines the effect of school uniforms on student achievement. It tackles methodological challenges through the use of a value-added functional form and the use of multiple data sets. The results do not suggest any significant association between school uniform policies and achievement. Although the results do not definitely support or reject either side of the uniform argument, they do strongly intimate that uniforms are not the solution to all of American education’s ills.”

“Effects of Student Uniforms on Attendance, Behavior Problems, Substance Use, and Academic Achievement” Brunsma, David L.; Rockquemore, Kerry A. The Journal of Educational Research , 1998, Vol. 92. doi: 10.1080/00220679809597575.

Abstract: “Mandatory uniform policies have been the focus of recent discourse on public school reform. Proponents of such reform measures emphasize the benefits of student uniforms on specific behavioral and academic outcomes. Tenth-grade data from The National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 was used to test empirically the claims made by uniform advocates. The findings indicate that student uniforms have no direct effect on substance use, behavioral problems, or attendance. Contrary to current discourse, the authors found a negative effect of uniforms on student academic achievement. Uniform policies may indirectly affect school environment and student outcomes by providing a visible and public symbol of commitment to school improvement and reform.”

“School Uniforms, Academic Achievement, and Uses of Research” Bodine, Ann. The Journal of Educational Research , 2003, Vol. 97. doi: 10.1080/00220670309597509.

Abstract: “School uniforms are being advocated for a range of social, educational, economic, and familial reasons. In 1998, The Journal of Educational Research (The JER) published an article by D. Brunsma and K. Rockquemore that claims that uniforms correlate negatively with academic achievement, but data presented in this article actually show positive correlation between uniforms and achievement for the total sample, and for all but 1 school sector. Examination of structure of argument reveals that the erroneous claim results from misleading use of sector analysis. Simultaneous with The JER article, and on the basis of the same National Education Longitudinal Study: 1988 database, an Educational Testing Service article reported that no correlation exists between uniforms and achievement. The two articles are contrasted in this study. The effect of new communication technology in amplifying political uses of academic research is discussed.”

“Public School Uniforms: Effect on Perceptions of Gang Presence, School Climate, and Student Self-Perceptions” Wade, Kathleen Kiley; Stafford, Mary E. Education and Urban Society , 2003, Vol. 35. doi: 10.1177/0013124503255002.

Abstract: “This study attempts to clarify the relationships between public school uniforms and some of their intended results: student self-worth and student and staff perceptions of gang presence and school climate. The instruments used in the study included a questionnaire on gang presence and identity, the National Association of School Principals Comprehensive Assessment of School Environments, and the Harter Self-Perception Profile for Children. Participants consisted of 415 urban public middle school students and 83 teachers. Findings indicate that, although perceptions did not vary for students across uniform policy, teachers from schools with uniform policies perceived lower levels of gang presence. Although the effect size was small, students from schools without uniforms reported higher self-perception scores than students from schools with uniform policies. Student and teacher perceptions of school climate did not vary across uniform policy.”

“The Effect of Uniforms on Nonuniform Apparel Expenditures” Norum, Pamela S.; Weagley, Robert O.; Norton, Marjorie J. Family & Consumer Sciences , 1998. doi: 10.1177/1077727X980263001.

Abstract: “The uniform industry has grown steadily the past 20 years with increased attention from employers trying to create a professional image among workers as well as school administrators considering uniforms to curtail school violence. Although an important part of human dress for centuries, uniforms have received little attention from researchers of the clothing market. This study examines the impact of uniform purchases on household expenditures for selected nonuniform apparel subcategories based on an economic model of conditional demand. Expenditure equations are estimated using the 1990-1991 Consumer Expenditure Survey. The results suggest that, on average, consumers do not substitute uniforms for other apparel purchases. Rather, uniforms and nonuniform apparel appear to be complements in consumers’ purchases, resulting in greater household expenditures on nonuniform apparel. These results are a first step in understanding the economic effect that uniform purchases, mandated by employers, schools, or others, have on household clothing expenditures.”

Looking for more research on student achievement? Check out our write-ups on how teacher salaries , school vouchers and school shootings impact learning.   

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Reviewing School Uniform through a Public Health Lens: Evidence about the Impacts of School Uniform on Education and Health

This study uses a public health lens to review evidence about the impacts of wearing a school uniform on students’ health and educational outcomes. It also reviews the underlying rationales for school uniform use, exploring historical reasons for uniform use, as well as how questions of equity, human rights, and the status of children as a vulnerable group are played out in debates over school uniforms. The literature identified indicates that uniforms have no direct impact on academic performance, yet directly impact physical and psychological health. Girls, ethnic and religious minorities, gender-diverse students and poorer students suffer harm disproportionately from poorly designed uniform policies and garments that do not suit their physical and socio-cultural needs. Paradoxically, for some students, uniform creates a barrier to education that it was originally instituted to remedy. The article shows that public health offers a new perspective on and contribution to debates and rationales for school uniform use. This review lays out the research landscape on school uniform and highlights areas for further research.

Despite regular judicial, community, and press scrutiny, there is little consensus on the function of school uniforms, or agreement about evidence of their impact on education and health. Breaches of school uniform policy have resulted in court cases (e.g., [ 1 , 2 ]), and courts note that in focusing on the rights and wrongs of a particular uniform policy, the underlying issues driving uniform design and policy are neglected [ 3 ]. Meanwhile, at the beginning of the school year in many English-speaking countries there are numerous press articles about the cost burden to families of providing school uniforms [ 4 – 8 ], whether they are value for money [ 9 – 11 ], and whether garment design is fit for modern life [ 12 – 17 ]. Discussion seems stymied in a superficial argument about whether school uniforms are good or bad. Rarely do discussions point to empirical evidence about school uniform garment design and policy about uniform use. This situation begs questions as to availability of evidence for school uniform use, its effects on educational or health outcomes, and the underlying rationales for school uniform use.

This article applies a public health lens to review evidence about why we have uniforms and what effects they have on educational and health outcomes. A public health perspective was chosen to review evidence because it is explicitly designed to analyze impacts of broad socio-political forces and determinants of health on individual experiences. Further, public health sees education and health as mutually reinforcing and intrinsically linked. The one determines the success of the other. Consequently, much public health policy aims to optimize wider social policy settings to improve health and education [ 18 ], and encourage equitable outcomes especially for the most vulnerable populations [ 19 ]. It is also why the World Health Organization (WHO) promotes health in all government policies to improve overall population health ([ 20 ]). Therefore, attention to students’ physical and psychosocial health and wellbeing is important for enhancing educational outcomes. This includes evidence for the choice of school uniform garments and individual schools’ policy about uniform and how these affect student wellbeing. The evidence considered here suggests that uniform is of public health concern because its use and effects are prevalent, have impact and are amenable to improvement. Uniform use is prevalent and widespread globally. In their study of 39 PISA countries, Baumann and Kriskova [ 21 ] identify five main geographic/sociocultural groupings where uniform wearing is common: an Anglo-Saxon cluster (United Kingdom, NZ, Australia, United States), Asia, East Asia (South Korea, Japan), the Americas (e.g., Mexico), and Europe. These authors also note that uniform prevalence is increasing. Regarding impact, evidence shows uniforms can impact directly and indirectly on the individual and on society in equity, health and educational domains for better and for worse. The reviewed literature suggests that any harms are amenable to intervention via evidence-based action. Meadmore and Symes [ 22 ] argue that uniforms are not as frivolous as they appear and warrant systematic attention. This article applies that systematic attention through a public health lens. It explores three questions: What is the evidence for the impact of school uniform on students’ academic and health outcomes; what social, cultural and political rationales are made for uniform use; and what human rights may be affected by school uniform choice? For conciseness, “school uniform(s) garments” will be referred to as uniform(s). The practice of wearing/using/mandating a school uniform will be referred to as uniform policy.

Databases that include health and education research were searched for peer-reviewed articles in English using the key word “school uniform” in the title keywords or abstract. The date range searched was from 2000 to (present), being October 2020. The results are detailed in Table 1 .

Database searches October 2020.

Oft -cited peer-reviewed sources that did not appear in the literature searches were also included in the literature review ( n = 25), as well as texts that were found in the initial work for this review. Texts were de-duplicated, yielding 197 texts. Records were screened for relevance and excluded 79 for being out of scope because of time constraints (not in English, PhD theses, conference proceedings). This yielded 118 full text articles to be assessed, of which 26 were excluded because they were off-topic for this review (e.g., industry information about supply chains; school uniform as a basis for a thought experiment; fetishism; reports on forensics; technical information about fabric properties). 92 studies were included in this review.

Note this study examines the breadth of evidence for uniform wearing. Study quality was not part of the analysis.

Articles fell into three broad groups: surveys/studies that elicited stakeholder feedback on some aspect of garment design or policy; or experience of uniform wearing; analyses of large datasets or administrative data; and political, philosophical/ethnographic, and legal analyses of rationale and impact of uniform use.

The first group comprised empirical research that examined data on some aspect of garment design or policy or uniform wearing experience. There was a mixture purposive samples and convenience samples. Studies varied in the number of participants, the number of sites from which participants were taken. Studies elicited views from stakeholders: students, parents, teachers, administrators, social workers, school counselor. Views were gathered via survey and/or focus group. Some surveys formed part of a case study. There were also stand-alone case studies and ethnographies, an RCT and an auto-ethnography.

12 studies examined garment properties for Sun protection, safety, design. The mix of stakeholders varied: students only ( n = 15); students and family/parents/caregivers ( n = 8); multiple stakeholders (students, parents, teachers, and administrators, and/or social workers) ( n = 17). There were three randomized control trials. There were a mixture purposive samples and convenience samples. Studies varied in the number of participants, the number of sites from which participants were taken. The second group comprised analyses of large datasets ( n = 5), and one meta analysis on factors affecting educational outcomes. The third group were non-empirical studies. They included: policy summaries; legal analyses; historical commentaries on uniform’s development; socio-political analyses; political think-pieces; and one economic analysis.

Here, evidence has been arranged according to a public health lens of analysis. First, this section examines the proximate educational and health impacts of uniform garments and uniform policy on students to determine whether there are immediate health or education impacts of uniform use or policy. Second, rationales for uniform use are examined, as well as distal factors that influence student experience. This section examines the broader institutional, and socio-cultural contexts which inform uniform use.

Part 1: Literature for Educational and Health Impacts of Uniform

Does uniform influence educational outcomes.

Starting with the evidence for the impact of uniform on educational outcomes (the core in Figure 1 ), there is little convincing evidence that uniform improves academic achievement. Studies from the United States in the early 2000’s [ 23 , 24 ] note a positive correlation between uniform wearing and academic achievement (e.g., Bodine [ 25 ]). Later, in 2012 Gentile and Ibermann found a positive effect on grades and retention [ 26 , 27 ]. Stockton et al. [ 28 ] noted there was a greater perception of increased attendance and achievement after uniform was introduced. However, studies of large datasets and meta-analyses fail to find a link between uniform and academic achievement. Brunsma and Rockquemore’s (2003) response to Bodine’s assessment of their administrative data review in the late 1990’s reiterated that no overwhelming link exists between uniform wearing and academic outcomes (there were methodological disagreements about which data to choose and how they should be analyzed). Later studies by Yeung [ 29 ] and Creasy and Corby [ 30 ] noted multiple factors for academic achievement—but not uniform. In a synthesis of 800 meta-analyses on effects of all hitherto published variables of educational outcomes, Hattie [ 31 ] demonstrated negligible to no association between uniform and academic achievement itself. However, he notes that the ‘heat and impact of the discussion are as if [uniform] were obviously effective’ (p106) [ 32 ]. In a 2017 update to that study uniform was not listed among the 252 effects on educational outcomes [ 33 ].

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Organization of evidence about uniform use.

Nonetheless, it appears that uniform may contribute to an environment that fosters academic achievement. Baumann and Kriskova [ 21 ] examined information from the PISA study on student experience of discipline within the classroom environment (listening, noise level, quietening/settling, schoolwork, starting work). This study involved a very large sample of students from across the globe. These researchers found a statistically significant difference related to settling to work between uniform wearing and non-uniform wearing samples. Thus, Baumann and Kriskova [ 21 ] recommend keeping uniforms where already used and introducing them where not used. Similarly, Firmin et al. [ 34 ] found introducing uniform reduced distractions. Writing about the United States, DaCosta’s [ 35 ] study of students noted improved concentration and increased security in the school where uniform was introduced. A South African study reported that uniform helped to maintain classroom discipline [ 36 ].

However, settling to work and classroom discipline are two of many facilitators of learning outcomes [ 21 ], along with class size, funding levels, homework, and, importantly, factors related to the quality of the teacher (qualifications, personality, incentives, mentoring for new teachers). Given that teacher skill and relationship between student and teacher are established as influential factors on learning outcomes [ 33 ], some argue that expecting teachers to enforce school uniform rules detracts from teaching, learning, and good relationships [ 30 , 37 ], notwithstanding the classroom management benefits of uniform-wearing described by Baumann and Kriskova [ 21 ]. Indeed, Da Costa [ 35 ] reports, the introduction of school uniform created opposition and non-compliance, distracting students and teachers from education. There are indications that uniform could create psychological barriers to education for vulnerable students, especially when it is a new phenomenon. Gromova and Hayrutdinova [ 38 ] found that for ethnic-minority newcomers to a school, uniform can simply be another strange element to get used to in a new environment.

One study argues that organisational and classroom management enhanced by uniforms may be achieved at the expense of other educational goals and values. Baumann and Kriskova’s [ 21 ] research ranks Korea and Japan highest in terms of settling to work and removing distractions. Yet Park’s [ 39 ] study found in Korea uniform was linked to stifling creativity, in spite of good academic performance. This is indicative only (a small study from one country), but highlights how much is not known about the impact of uniform on other domains of education.

Another effect of school uniform is that schools socialize students to certain explicit and implicit values and social norms and inculcate social skills that will help them get on in the world. Within that framework, school uniform provides what Vopat [ 40 ] describes as teachable moments (unplanned, yet important learning opportunities) to reflect on norms of society. There is no data that directly addresses non-academic learning outcomes from uniform. However, Vopat’s idea of teachable moments hints at why some administrators prefer a uniform [ 41 , 42 ], and a more formal one at that [ 41 ].

In some contexts, uniform is also instrumental to other goals: school security and students’ physical safety, aids student focus on learning. In South Africa, Wilken and van Aardt [ 36 ] observed that uniforms can make certain students targets of attack outside the school grounds. In South Africa and the United States uniforms are used to easily identify intruders on school premises and to reduce gang violence and theft of designer items outside of school [ 35 , 36 ]. However, in the United States one study found negligible evidence of uniform enhancing security [ 43 ], while another study found introducing uniform created only a lower perception of gang presence [ 44 ].

Overall, it appears that while uniform is a factor that removes distractions from classroom learning, thereby enhancing operational management, it has no direct impact on academic achievement and is not among factors that demonstrably improve educational outcomes. It may enhance school security, and influence schools’ broader educational and socialization goals.

Does Uniform Influence Health Outcomes?

Unlike for educational outcomes, there is a far more direct link between uniform garments and uniform policy and health outcomes. Health impacts can be divided into physical and psycho-social effects, though there is a significant overlap between the two. Physical impacts of school uniform relate to how uniforms facilitate physical activity during the day, whether uniform garments protect the wearer against known environmental hazards, whether the garments promote health and safety, and whether the garments are comfortable to wear. Psycho-social impacts are linked to fitting in (or not) with peers.

One effect uniforms have on physical wellbeing is their limitation or allowance of exercise. Encouraging regular physical activity is part of the WHO’s health promotion concept of health in all policies and settings. Globally, governments are trying increase physical activity among children and young people to reduce child obesity rates [ 45 ]. Additionally, physical activity enhances learning outcomes and improves wellbeing ([ 46 ]), therefore policies that promote planned and incidental physical activity positively influence educational and health outcomes. However, it appears that school uniform design and policy can pose a barrier to incidental exercise, particularly for girls. McCarthy et al. [ 47 ] found primary school girls were more active on sports uniform days and met government recommended daily physical activity levels on those days. Norrish et al.’s [ 48 ] study on the effect of uniform on incidental physical activity among ten-year-olds found that school uniform design could limit physical activity (measured by student self-report and pedometers). Correcting for choice of activity (ballgames, skipping vs imaginary play, verbal games), girls did significantly more activity during breaks on sports uniform days. Likewise, Watson et al. [ 49 ] and Stanley et al. [ 50 ] reported that recommended physical activity for school-aged children was not being met, especially for girls, where restrictive school uniform limited physical activity and created an explicit barrier to lunchtime play. Further, in an age of active transport policy, Hopkins et al. [ 51 ] found that school uniform style and lack of warmth was a barrier to cycling to school for some female secondary students, and Ward et al. [ 52 ] found both garment design and schools’ uniform policy hampered active transport among older teenagers. There are strong indications that uniform garments and policy about which garments can be worn directly impact on students’ physical health outcomes, for female students in particular.

While there is evidence on how uniform facilitates physical activity, there is little evidence on the psychological effects of uniforms on how students feel about doing physical activity in uniform. Unflattering or revealing (sports) uniforms may deter students from participating in sport. Focusing on physical activity, Watson’s et al.’s [ 49 ] study noted the complex social factors that affect physical activity, and how a unisex sport uniform could enhance the feeling of comfort and confidence. For instance, Pausé’s [ 53 ] auto-ethnography highlights the psychological barrier an unflattering sports uniform can pose to fat children’s participation in and enjoyment of physical activity as a good in itself (as opposed to a means to lose weight).

Physical health can be protected against known environmental health hazards by uniform garment design and policy implementation. However, school uniform policy (at national or school level) does not routinely address these hazards. In Australasia, ozone layer degradation results in high UV radiation levels in warmer months. Prolonged UV exposure results in skin damage and over the long term increased rates of moles and skin cancers across the population. Yet Gage et al. [ 54 ] found that uniformed schools had lower total body coverage than non-uniformed schools, albeit with greater neck coverage due to collared uniforms. This is despite evidence that hats with a brim and sun-safe clothing (covered arms and legs) can improve sun protection [ 55 ] while not increasing objective measures of body temperature [ 56 ]. Indeed, modeling from Australia indicates that slightly longer garments significantly alter mole patterns [ 57 ]. Of course the effectiveness of uniform garments (or indeed any garments) for sun protection depends on proper implementation of policy. For instance, in New Zealand Sunsmart is a voluntary school policy to optimize protection of children’s skin from sun damage and sunburn. However, Reeder et al. [ 58 ] found that Sunsmart policies were not consistently implemented, even among Sunsmart-accredited schools.

Uniform has also been used as part of measures to combat disease. In Thailand and other countries with endemic dengue, school uniform design, the use of insecticide-treated clothing [ 59 – 62 ], and how uniform is worn [ 63 ] have been investigated extensively in relation to dengue prevention, especially how to stop insecticide washing out of fabric. However, while the use of insecticide-treated clothing is supported by parents in these countries, willingness to pay for the uniform is linked to parental monthly income. Governmental willingness to subsidize treated uniforms is linked to overall cost, irrespective of effectiveness or potential health gain [ 64 , 65 ]. It appears that good garment design that protects against environmental hazards cannot be separated from good policy implementation and a financial subsidy if garment cost is high.

Interestingly, while environmental hazards and their impact on health were considered, no peer reviewed articles were found related to safe garment design e.g., Inflammable materials, removing strangling risks. The only information found on uniform policy and garment safety did not relate to garments but accessories (not uniform proper). It was from the United Kingdom, where the Health and Safety Executive found that schools had incorrectly applied health and safety legislation to ban certain non-uniform items of jewellery that had no link to causing physical harm [ 66 ].

Is it possible to achieve optimal uniform garment design? Researchers have examined different elements of uniform design, some related to health outcomes. There is a particularly interesting body of research emerging about properties of school uniform garments. Researchers have investigated how to standardize sizing [ 67 ], improve garment quality and durability [ 68 ], optimize materials, enhance style, include high visibility/reflectiveness for road safety, and ensure physical comfort irrespective of outside temperature [ 68 – 71 ]. This demonstrates that it is technically possible to design a uniform that meets cost imperatives, is physically safe, comfortable, and enjoyable to wear. These studies showed garment materials do not necessarily prioritize the wearer’s physical comfort. Functionality (durability, ease of care, ease of drying, stain and wrinkle resistance) is often preferred over comfort or safety (Kadolph, 2001 in 36). For example, polycotton is used instead of cotton because it is colourfast and fast-drying, despite not breathing well in hot weather.

It appears that no consensus exists on best practice for uniform design, who should be involved in design decisions, and considerations in policy development and implementation (e.g., health and educational impacts of garment design and policy, gender neutral options, non-physically restrictive garments). There is no data that discusses this point directly though some studies involve parents and students [ 68 , 71 ], and DaCosta [ 35 ] recommends involving students in co-designing the uniform, to develop a uniform that provides choice and flexibility. Gereluk proposes principles for a non-discriminatory environment [ 72 ], which provides helpful guidance on how to accommodate minority concerns into majority spaces. In doing so, he helpfully lists general elements to consider that can be applied to uniform design and policy. These are: health and safety; whether (any religious/cultural garment) is oppressive to (the wearer) or others; whether it significantly inhibits the educational aims of the school; whether (whatever item is not part of the uniform) is essential to one’s identity.

There is evidence that uniforms can be psychosocially protective of health. Uniforms remove “competitive dressing”—the pressure to wear certain (expensive) brands, colors, or styles [ 36 ]. Uniform removes most socio-economic signs of difference [ 73 ]. Wilken and van Aardt [ 36 ] and Jones (for higher socio economic status students) [ 74 ] report that school uniforms take away stress and family arguments about what to wear on school days. The positive psychological effect of removing competitive dressing probably only holds for students with a certain level of material wealth (see discussion below on equity of access to education and uniform cost). Thus, Catherine and Mulgalavi [ 75 ] found in Pakistan that school uniform had a positive effect on students’ self-esteem, particularly if they had the full and correct uniform. It seems for very poor students, school uniform requirements may simply become something else to worry about, but for others uniform removes a barrier to fitting in.

In addition to the ambivalence of wearers’ feelings, there are mixed data on the impact of uniform on bullying. In a study of one school in the United States, Sanchez et al. [ 76 ] found introduction of a uniform did not significantly change the school’s culture before and after a school uniform was introduced, though some females said males treated them better when they wore a uniform. Jones (United States) reported a reduction in bullying after uniform was introduced [ 74 ].

Indeed, Cunningham and Cunningham [ 77 ] note that while uniforms can reduce bullying, there will always be triggers such as girls choosing to wear trousers not skirts. Importantly, any dress is about more than clothing, indicating social relations, self-presentation, and formation in society, and is a sensitive topic in adolescence [ 78 ]. Indeed, Swain’s ethnography found that students who complied with uniform rules risked being socially excluded [ 79 ].

It appears that uniforms can be both protective and harmful, depending on context, how the student pushes the boundaries of uniform rules to fit in, and whether the student is part of a marginalised/socially disadvantaged group. Whatever the context, females are half of the population, and their physical and psycho-social health seems to be routinely and arbitrarily disadvantaged by uniform design.

Overall, in terms of health and education impacts it seems any psycho-social benefits will only hold if other psycho-social and physical harms to girls, and minorities are addressed. Table 2 summarizes the health and education impacts of uniform. From a health and education perspective, uniform’s biggest advantage is that it removes some distractions; it helps students to settle in the classroom and removes the worst of competitive dressing. If garments and policy are well designed, they encourage physical activity and can protect against environmental hazards. Nonetheless, poorly designed garments and uniform policies especially affect girls and minorities.

Uniform’s positive, neutral, and negative impacts on education and health outcomes.

Part 2: Exploring Social, Cultural and Political Rationales for Uniform Use

Since uniforms do not positively influence academic achievement and can have negative physical and psycho-social health impacts, what drives their use? Further, why are known problems in uniform policy and design not addressed? To answer these questions, it is important to consider the broader context in which uniform is used. The literature that addresses these questions can be divided into three groups. The first group examines the role of uniforms in institutions and the community; the second, the interaction between human rights and uniform; the third (dealt with in part 3 below) the relationship of uniforms to the idea of children as a vulnerable class of people who need special protection. Institutions, human rights laws and societal perceptions of children and childhood constitute important upstream/distal determinants of health and educational outcomes. All the above elements contribute to wider social settings that facilitate or prevent access to what people need to enjoy good health and education. Table 3 summarizes rationales for uniform use.

Implicit and explicit rationales for uniform use.

Uniforms as a Reflection of Schools and Communities

Schools are institutional extensions of overlapping communities: geographic, religious, or ethnic. Community norms reflect institutional and wider societal rules. Uniform signals internal culture to students and provides cues to outsiders about the school’s character.

Within schools, uniforms reinforce institutional culture, signaling school values to students [ 80 ], thereby identifying the wearer with objectives beyond the self. Along with school facilities and symbols [ 21 ], a well-disciplined body of students is associated with a certain type of dress. Additionally, some argue that uniforms contribute to a sense of affiliation in students, belonging [ 81 ], and pride in the school, especially after uniform has been recently introduced [ 82 ]. Affiliation is related to solidarity; yet there seems to be a tipping point when solidarity is undermined if the uniform is too expensive and excludes students [ 83 ]. Howell [ 84 ] argues that among charter school students he studied in the United States, uniform is only one element to increase participation and is far less important than other variables like family dynamics. However, claims about uniform fostering solidarity are not supported by empirical research on student feelings about belonging in the school context. Research into school belonging did not find a significant association between school uniform and a sense of belonging to the school community [ 85 ]. Instead, belonging is fostered by a supportive, respectful atmosphere and a sense of achieving.

It has been argued that uniforms communicate messages to those outside the school community. Stephenson [ 86 ] argues the main role of uniform has changed from primarily addressing poverty or removing differences marking class and gender to primarily signaling education standards, and the school’s place in the education market [ 22 , 36 ], showcasing the institutions’ disciplinary philosophy [ 27 ]. Happell [ 87 ] notes that in the United States uniform visually demarcates students and is associated with private education, improving the wider school environment [ 35 ], or maintaining the impression of strictness and safety [ 22 ]. Shao et al. [ 88 ] note that like corporate uniform, school uniform gives cues to the service environment—a more conservative uniform suggests more conservative values, higher socio-economic status, and by association higher academic achievement. Indeed, Bodine [ 89 ] notes that uniform reinforces and delineates social hierarchies and who belongs. Belonging can be inclusive, encouraging broad participation and access, or exclusive by drawing lines between people and putting up practical barriers to access, delineating who is and is not worthy of privilege [ 90 ].

Within institutions uniform is a management tool [ 21 ]. It has the veneer of solidarity, but there is no empirical evidence linking uniform to feelings of belonging to a school. Uniform also signals tradition, and communicates the place in the education market to outsiders, especially a school’s disciplinary and academic climate. The factors affecting a school’s choice to require a uniform is in turn affected by wider forces of socio-political climate and human rights.

Wider Forces: Socio-Political Climate

As illustrated in Figure 1 , the individual health and educational impacts of uniform are nestled in the broader school culture, which in turn is influenced by the wider socio-political context, influenced by the community’s values. A country’s history, power structures, and socio-economic patterns are thus played out through uniforms. Further, dominant societal values are the lens through which human rights and other implicit and explicit values are projected. Uniform wearing can be intrinsic to a greater good, or instrumental in reaching other goals. With this in mind, what data exist on the socio-political factors that influence uniform garment design and policy?

Uniform design and policy slowly changes alongside social and educational policy developments. Thus, New Zealand, uniform design has changed alongside New Zealand’s education policy and socio-political context [ 81 ]. Similarly, in China uniform has gradually incorporated more modern and Western influences in design over time [ 91 ]. In their discussion on the reasons for uniform, Meadmore and Symes argue that uniform wearing is a form of governmentality–the process of unconscious internalization of external values designed to maintain existing power structures. In this way uniform is a “disciplinary tactic” [ 115 ] embodying respectability, cleanliness, modesty, and inoffensiveness. Conformity means meeting the standards of an institution [ 92 ], explicitly in service of an ideal of equality, and implicitly to maintain the societal power dynamics expressed through institutions. Whether a form of governmentality or not, it is clear that uniform is associated with broader societal values.

In some societies, uniform wearing seems intrinsically linked to a greater societal good. Thus, Baumann and Kriskova [ 21 ] argue that high PISA scores are associated with good classroom discipline, which is intrinsically linked to wider societal values. The authors hypothesize that in South Korea and Japan, Confucian values of self-discipline and conformity to ritual inform practical aspects of daily life. Baumann and Kriskova argue that conforming to social norms is part of being a good Confucian; thus, any penalty for breaching uniform standards (a social norm) is explicitly and intrinsically linked to becoming a better Confucian.

Alternatively, uniform wearing can be instrumental in reaching other ends. Hence, when uniform use became common in the Anglosphere in the 1800’s, there seems to have been a (noble) aim of making schools islands of fairness in an unfair world. Craik [ 93 ] states that in England school uniform aimed to equalize social class, creating social camouflage through functional, reasonably priced clothing. However, this rationale ignores wider societal power structures, and that uniform wearing may be mainly instrumental to another goal. Thus, in some post-colonial contexts uniform was part of a transfer of British values and seen as a way to civilize and promote a certain ideology [ 92 ]. In New Zealand, uniforms were inspired by military dress and were intended to encourage empowerment, belonging, and pride, as well as social camouflage [ 92 ]. In South Africa, school uniforms were imposed on the black population as a means of control [ 36 ]. Australian authors have hypothesized that certain types of school uniform historically represented respectability and happiness and promoted social integration. Wearing a school uniform provided a means for migrant children (and their families) to fit in [ 94 ]. Wearing a school blazer has been described as a cultural symbol of reaching and being included in a social ideal of wealth and educational achievement [ 95 ].

Some socio-political rationales are explicit and are part of clear public policy measures to shape society. For instance, Mujiburrahaman [ 96 ] describes uniform as part of Sharia law implementation in schools in Aceh; Moser notes it is part of fostering citizenship and identity in Indonesia’s schools [ 97 ]; and Draper et al. [ 98 ] describe how uniforms that use a hybrid of traditional and modern clothing styles, materials, and manufacturing techniques are part of a cultural revitalization project in Thailand. In the United States, from the mid-1990’s school uniforms have been explicitly promoted as a means to lower danger and violence in schools and remove classroom distractions [ 99 ]. Indeed, in the United States uniforms are often perceived as more neutral than dress codes because everyone wears the same [ 100 ], as opposed to judgements being made about clothing items against a standard. Overall it appears that uniform use is often driven by goals beyond health or education as values in themselves.

Part 3: Human Rights and Uniform Use

Human rights legislation supporting equity and freedom from religious or gender discrimination and protecting the rights of children has been discussed in conjunction with school uniform. In cases of disagreement about garment design or uniform policy and where institutional policy or social norms do not provide a solution, human rights law has been invoked to help reconcile different rights and values.

Human rights are overarching, universal entitlements that preserve the dignity of humans. Theoretically, human rights are interrelated and indivisible and should not be separated from each other [ 101 ]. Practically, the experience with uniform shows that simultaneously giving effect to different human rights is not straightforward. Social context influences how human rights are interpreted and given legal standing. Looking at the United States, Ahrens [ 102 ] notes that in the 1970’s uniform was of great constitutional concern (impinging of First Amendment right of freedom of expression), whereas nowadays few legal or constitutional problems with uniform are discussed, possibly because the overwhelming concern is student safety; the importance of identifying intruders outweighs concern over freedom of expression [ 103 ].

Equality vs. Equity

The human rights notion that all humans are equal is important to school uniform policy. As noted earlier, the idea that equality of access to education is enhanced by “social camouflage” is a principal historic and current rationale for uniform [ 36 , 89 ]. Proponents of uniform argue it creates equality and emphasize the benefits of homogeneity that outweigh any negative impacts: unity, a sense of belonging (although this point has not been demonstrated empirically), and group identity. In their view, the human right to equal treatment is enhanced by removing outward signs of social differences [ 36 , 89 ]. This may explain why in Malaysia, Woo et al. found that while students thought uniform unattractive, they conceded it reduced outward markers of differing socio-economic status [ 73 ].

However, an equality focus in uniform policy sidesteps the issue of who bears the brunt of equality as “sameness”. Equality focuses on same treatment, while equity focuses on outcomes, sometimes requiring different treatment to achieve similar outcomes [ 104 ]. Data show that uniforms are not intrinsically equitable. The cost of uniforms can affect students’ rights to access education. In addition to inequity of physical activity by gender and barriers for minority groups, the cost of uniform garments themselves is a determinant of access to education, and clearly unequally felt across society. The cost barrier that uniform poses to attending school is widespread, particularly in low and middle-income countries. Using Mongolia as an example, Sabic-el Rayess et al, [ 83 ] note that in countries where the very poor cannot afford uniforms, they do not attend school. Likewise, Simmons-Zuilkowski [ 105 ] found that in South Africa enrollment rates among the very poor are lower because of cost of uniforms. In Kenya, Mutengi [ 106 ] found a statistically significant link between uniform cost and education access, and Green et al. [ 107 ], Sitieni and Pillay [ 108 ] and Cho et al. [ 109 ] describe free uniform as part of support and incentive packages for at-risk children to attend school [ 110 ]. In Ghana, Alagbela [ 111 ] and Akaguri [ 112 ] show that uniform cost creates a barrier to education for the very poor. One contradiction to this trend comes from Hidalgo et al. in one study in Ecuador [ 113 ]. The authors found that providing uniform decreased attendance. However, the authors note that the study was not conducted as anticipated; some families promised uniforms were not supplied with them, and many in the study group had already purchased a uniform (it was therefore a sunk cost), so uniform cost was not a factor that decided school attendance. Cost is also a likely concern among all parents in high-income countries. In the United Kingdom, Davies [ 114 ] examined uniform cost and supply and surveyed parents who were happiest when uniform could be sourced from a mixture of designated shops and high street/generic stores and found that uniforms were cheapest when items could be brought from anywhere. However, as in low income countries, uniform creates an unequal cost burden across the population. In the United States, Da Costa [ 35 ] highlights the economic burden on the poor of buying a school uniform. In South Korea and the United States, poorer parents spend a higher percentage of their income on uniforms [ 36 ]. In New Zealand, a survey of parents [ 115 ] found school uniform cost is a significant burden for poorer families. In Scotland, Naven et al. [ 116 ] reported how uniform cost created such a barrier to education that the state changed its clothing grant policy to help ease the financial burden on families.

Of course cost is not the only equity issue in uniform use, but it is an important one. Davies’ [ 114 ] United Kingdom report on uniform supply and cost found that garment quality was a main influence on purchasing decisions, followed by availability and cost. Surveying parents’ and educators’ attitudes to uniforms, for both groups Davies found uniforms were considered worthwhile because they are a long-term investment: generally long-lasting, infrequently replaced, and cheaper over the student’s career than non-uniform alternatives. However, Davies’ and other data (e.g., Gasson et al., Naven et al., Catherine and Mugalavai, Simmons-Zuilkowski) suggest the large initial upfront cost is a barrier for poorer families. Another reason for concern is that sameness does not result in equity or improve human rights protection. Deane [ 117 ] argues that justifications for uniform based on equity are not well considered because the mere wearing of uniform does not create equity, and does not magic away other differences [ 117 ]. In practical terms, equity through uniforms is inevitably an imperfect idea: even if uniform policy allows students to choose to wear any items from a list so long as items comply with style or color rules, expensive branded items, or other garment choices would inevitably signal differences in economic status, wearer style, and individual preferences. It seems for the very poor/marginalized in any society, uniform can be simply another barrier to education because of the focus on equality, not equity. Ironically, those most in need of education may be denied it via a mechanism that was originally instituted to remove barriers to education.

Uniform and Freedom of Religion

In addition to general rights to equal treatment, specifically protected rights are of concern when considering uniform, particularly freedom of religion and the right to non-discrimination because of gender. Uniform rules and the right to freedom of religion is an example of where courts are asked to reconcile seemingly conflicting rights with each other. For instance, the Convention on the Rights of the Child (Art 14) protects freedom of religion [ 118 ]. Nonetheless, this right is not unfettered and can be limited if others’ rights are impinged, and its application depends on how individual countries legislate to support human rights.

Theoretically, uniforms should not impinge on religious freedom. Practically, the situation is not so clear-cut. Complex questions about how religion is represented and how it is recognized are often played out through uniform [ 119 ], especially in liberal democracies. For some, adhering to a school uniform policy means not observing religious requirements. In Australia, where states are required to have a uniform policy, direct and indirect discrimination on the basis of religion is forbidden. Yet there is no clarity on whether a school can have a policy that is silent on students’ religious beliefs and practices [ 120 , 121 ]. Australian courts have found that exceptions to uniform rules can be made to avoid injury to religious sensibilities, doctrines, beliefs, or principles (e.g., allowing wearing yarmulke or hijab). In England (which has a longstanding uniform tradition), the case of Begum sought to balance religious freedom to wear Sharia-appropriate clothes against the right to education, school uniform policy [ 122 , 123 ], and women’s rights. In Begum the court found that social cohesion, protecting minority rights, and ensuring religious freedom must be balanced [1 , 124 – 126 . In Begum , the judgment shows how tricky it is to reconcile all human rights in themselves, let alone apply them within the context uniform policy requirements.

Whatever the social context, outward signs of faith can challenge both uniform rules and wider societal values such as secularity in public institutions. Gereluk [ 72 ] argues for reasonable accommodation and mechanisms to redress potential unequal treatment of minorities. What constitutes “reasonable accommodation” appears to be context-dependent.

Uniform and Gender

Similarly to promoting equity and freedom of religion, human rights protect non-discrimination by gender. The discussion so far has shown that whatever the rationale, uniform garment design has a greater impact on girls, particularly on their physical health. This differential effect has been addressed by human rights legislation. For instance, The New Zealand Human Rights Commission agreed with a complaint of discrimination on gender grounds by two female-identified students [ 127 ] who argued that the requirement to wear a skirt disadvantaged them because it restricted their movement. Settlement was reached when the school added culottes (shorts that look like skirts) to the school uniform. In this example, human rights legislation allowed schools to have uniform codes for males and females, providing uniforms do not disadvantage one gender or group.

Differential treatment by gender is underpinned by historical and some current thought, though it is rarely discussed in relation to uniform. This is possibly because it is linked to deeply entrenched and normalized gender roles. Political and philosophical research addresses this point. Dussel [ 128 ] argues that school uniforms hamper, restrain, and try to domesticate girls’ bodies. Happel [ 87 ] argues that school uniform is linked to gendered performance, where school uniforms underpin sex and gender roles, because they restrict movement and confirm traditional gender identities. Happel [ 87 ] argues that because skirts allow for exposure of underwear, buttocks, and genitals, girls are taught modesty/immodesty through a garment. Girls are thus objectified because they have to curb their behavior because of another’s gaze. In this review no evidence was found of any of the above restrictions caused by boys’ uniform. Notably, girls’ uniforms tend to be more expensive [ 106 , 114 ], illustrating that even here there is a “pink tax” for female-oriented products that perform the same function as a unisex/male alternative [ 114 , 129 ]. Further, normalized gender roles affect gender-diverse students, already a group at risk of exclusion. For gender diverse students, non-inclusive uniform policies are particularly problematic [ 130 ] and affect them disproportionately [ 17 ]. Non-inclusive uniform policy relies upon the idea that clothing is an essential element of gender identity and that any fluidity or flexibility in dress rules risks undermining individual and collective gender identity. There is no evidence of gender identity being so fragile [ 131 ]. In practical terms, Henebery [ 132 ] argues that even if uniforms have unisex options, they are still split by gender, where skirts are limited to biological girls. Interestingly, Bragg [ 133 ] notes that a school uniform policy that strictly enforces male/female uniforms is in stark contrast with the broader and more fluid social understanding and representations of gender that students are exposed to, especially in Western countries.

It appears that uniforms place a physical restriction and price premium on girls, and policy does not routinely consider gender diverse students. This is driven by socio-cultural norms and negatively impinges on their human rights, despite the overarching right to equal treatment irrespective of gender.

Uniform and Children and Young People’s Freedom of Expression

Freedom of expression is another area of human rights that often clashes with uniform. The right to freedom of expression (Art 13 UNCRC [ 134 ]) can be restricted in respect of the rights and reputations of others, protection of national security, and public order. Article 12 (UNCRC, 1989) details that free expression is given weight in accordance with the age and development of the child. Some hold that school uniforms are inherently restrictive, arguing that school uniform hampers expressive rights and normal identity exploration, constitutes intrusive control of group behavior (e.g., 35), and symbolizes oppression [ 131 ]. Conversely, others argue argues that it is nonsensical to say that uniforms crush self-expression when there are many other creative outlets [ 89 ]. There is no empirical evidence on this point. Vopat takes a different approach and considers children’s moral and psychological development. Looking at expression and developmental stage, Vopat [ 40 ] separates self-expression into two categories: mere expression, and substantive expression. Mere expression is simply about what a person likes/dislikes, whereas substantive expression is an outer manifestation of deeply held values or another specific intention. Vopat [ 40 ] argues that small children lack the cognitive ability for substantive expression because they do not have the psychological capacity for it yet. Nonetheless, Vopat [ 40 ] suggests that uniform may be a learning point for students. Children need thinking time to become their moral selves. School uniforms provide explicit teachable moments, opportunities to think using different moral frameworks to examine the utility of different social attire and freedom of expression in context, and children’s understanding of and critical thinking about social appropriateness of dress [ 135 ], which enhances learning outcomes [ 40 ]. Conversely, and despite these learning opportunities, Deane [ 117 ] argues that uniform’s blindness to or suppression of difference implicitly dampens the ability think about and discuss difference; thought is constrained because uniform creates an implicit understanding that strangers should be the same as oneself, and where there is difference, there is danger. Consequently, uniform suppresses recognition and discussion about differences in ethnicity, religion, or class [ 117 ].

There is no empirical evidence either way that uniform constrains freedom of expression. There are hypotheses that uniform provides a teaching opportunity about appropriate dress, and socializes people to a particular dress standard. Other ideas suggest that uniform allows students to rebel in safe confines [ 81 ].

Children’s Rights and Minors as a Vulnerable Group

The rights of children sit alongside other rights. These rights protect children because the wider socio-political climate identifies children and minors as a vulnerable class of people who need protection.

However, there is no agreement about what rights of children exactly should be protected, and many wider concerns about children are projected onto uniform [ 89 ]. Through an institution limiting clothing choice or requiring certain clothing, Bodine [ 89 ] argues that uniform protects childhood by protecting children from sending messages with their clothing choices that they do not fully understand. However, exactly what is protected is unclear. Vopat [ 40 ] argues protection should be linked to the child’s moral development and ability to reason, balanced against Article 12 of UNCROC, which includes the duty to consider children’s voice in decisions that affect them. Some [ 87 ] argue that uniform should be done away with altogether because of harm to children’s human rights. Irrespective of children’s vulnerability and human rights, Brunsma and Rockquemore [ 136 ] argue that even if uniforms do not harm, and young children cannot yet exercise their rights, there is no justification for imposing uniforms in an educational context, especially if uniforms do not improve educational goals.

Overall, while human rights are universal, the way they are expressed in particular cultural contexts varies, driven by socio-political forces. It appears that the idea that uniform is inherently equitable is flawed. It does not level social class, and is not blind to religion, gender, and socio-economic status. It does not necessarily consider cultural and individual identity or diversity. Data on human rights and uniform show that uniform policies result in unequal impact of garment design and policy on girls and religious minorities. Data on freedom of expression is equivocal. Whatever the case, wider sociocultural issues are clearly played out through uniforms, and it appears that uniforms can become a proxy for other issues, particularly considering the special status of children and young people. Blanket approaches to uniform policy can be repressive of cultural identity/diversity and ignore entrenched power imbalances [ 22 , 131 ]. By scrutinizing the outcomes of uniform policy, it is clear that many uniform policies have neutral/minimal impact for the majority, but the minority must compromise cultural or religious values to comply with uniform rules. Females make up half the population, yet uniform design limits their ability to participate in incidental physical activity, a proven enhancer of health and educational outcomes.

This review demonstrates that far from being a “trivial relic” [ 22 ], school uniform is an important yet neglected public health issue that affects all students who are required to wear it. As a preliminary review, this study maps the conceptual landscape of school uniform garment design and policy in a public health framework, and brings evidence together to show health and education impacts of school uniform use. The review shows that school uniform is important, but not for commonly believed reasons. First, there persists a belief that school uniform in itself enhances academic outcomes. This is unsupported by evidence—there is no direct link between uniform and academic achievement [ 33 ]. However, uniform does contribute to a more settled classroom environment [ 21 ], which facilitates learning. Second, some studies argue uniform can distract from a good rapport between students and teachers, which is linked to improved learning (30,37). Third, despite common belief, uniform has no empirically supported impact on enhancing a feeling of belonging to a school [ 85 ]. Notably, there is a general paucity of evidence for use and a gap between what is believed about uniform and what is supported by empirical evidence. It appears that uniform use and policy is a neglected area of research: given its widespread use there is surprisingly little empirical evidence about its use or effects at all.

Concerningly, psychological and physical health impacts of uniform have been neglected. Positively, uniform removes the psycho-social barrier of competitive dressing. Indeed, well-designed uniform garments that are comfortable to wear, do not restrict physical activity for all students, that protect against environmental hazards, plus a uniform policy that is inclusive of all students (irrespective of gender/gender identity) can enhance student physical and psychological health [ 47 , 48 , 54 ]. Neutrally, uniform can both increase and decrease bullying. Negatively, inflexible uniform policies and garment design disadvantage girls, gender-diverse students, and overweight students because they do not feel confident in participating in physical activity while wearing uniform garments (47–51,53). From a physical health perspective, empirical evidence demonstrates that girls’ physical health is particularly disadvantaged. Girls make up around half the school-aged population, so the demonstrated link between poor uniform design and worse physical and psycho-social health for girls is of concern. Physically restrictive uniforms can hamper girls’ physical and social participation in school, especially physical activity during breaks and on the journey to school. Poorly designed sports uniform may also deter girls’ and overweight children’s participation in timetabled physical education. For all students, there is no evidence of systematic consideration in uniform policy of health and safety and protection from environmental hazards that permits students to wear garments to suit the weather conditions, or that ensures garments are comfortable to wear.

Further, gender-based inequity is inherent in uniform; girls’ uniforms are more expensive and more restrictive. Inequity exists for religious minorities and gender-diverse students who have to dress to fit the uniform policy rather than dress so they feel physically comfortable. Because garment design reflects the norms of the dominant culture, religious and ethnic minorities, and gender-diverse students often have to compromise beliefs and identity to comply with uniform rules.

This review shows that uniform garment design and policy focus on equality (same treatment) at the expense of equity (different treatment to achieve similar outcomes). While uniform removes the psycho-social pressure on individuals and families of competitive dressing and outward signs of socio-economic differences between students, it does not eliminate inequity. Paradoxically, uniforms can worsen inequity. Worldwide, for the very poorest students, the cost of a uniform may be prohibitive, creating a barrier to education before the students even arrive on school grounds [ 83 , 105 – 107 , 109 – 112 , 114 – 116 , 137 ]. For some students the disadvantages will be cumulative. Using the public health lens of analysis highlights this avoidable inequity.

Why do we compel children to wear uniforms and persist with policies that detract from physical and psycho-social health, and that disadvantage poorer students? This review has highlighted that uniform has become a proxy for many issues. Financial and political economies are projected onto uniform policy and garment design. An organisation’s history, institutional stewardship, values, and traditions are often embodied in uniform, which is possibly why certain designs and materials are so enduring. Uniform signals a school’s place in the education market and gives external and internal indications of the school culture (22, 26, 36). Uniform also appears to enhance school operations (21). In classrooms it helps students settle to task and help identify intruders and improve security (36,43), or the perception of security (44).

A public health lens helps to shed light on uniforms, and their impact on health and education. The public health frame of analysis brings together and organizes data from different disciplines to illuminate questions that are important to population health, illustrating proximate factors and distal factors to individual experiences. It has also shown that uniform merits public health interest: if uniform use is prevalent, its use impacts on health and educational outcomes, and, importantly, school uniform garments and policies regulating their use are amenable to improvement, with an eye to improving equity.

This study’s principal limitation is that data is only drawn from English-language research largely focused on the Anglosphere or where articles were available in English, yet much of the world that wears uniform is not Anglophone. Potentially important data may have been missed. Further this study’s primary data are primarily peer-reviewed articles, which ensures rigor, but leaves out a depth of information from other sources. Further, articles of all types (including commentaries) were included because this research focused on evidence about uniform use, rather than the quality of that evidence. For time constraints conference proceedings and PhD theses were excluded. Note that there were variations in the types of studies done. For instance, the physical impacts of uniform use (e.g., on physical activity of wearers, protection against environmental hazards) were measured using quantitative or qualitative/quantitative mixes of design with larger sample sizes. For instance Norrish et al’s [ 48 ] work on physical activity for girls was one of the few that included objective and subjective measures of the phenomena under investigation, with a repeated measures crossover design (same group tested in two different conditions). Finally, as with other areas of inquiry, philosophical pieces or commentaries often argue against the status quo rather than defend it. It is possible that there exist more positive or neutral impacts of uniform on education and health than have been hitherto documented, especially in empirical research.

Limitations notwithstanding, this research will be of interest to those within the public health community, those involved in uniform regulation and design, and those involved in educational management. It will also be of special interest to the general public, who will be better informed about the evidence for what uniform achieves, and what can be done about making it better. Conceptually, issues related to uniform design are of interest to researchers of other populations (e.g., prisoners, military) with diminished capacity or whose choice of clothing is restricted.

This review has important implications for future research. It has highlighted gaps in knowledge about garment design and uniform policy and their impacts.

Regarding garment design, more information is required on different priorities that inform design choices: durability, serviceability, safety of materials, quality, and comfort to the wearer, particularly with an eye to protection against environmental hazards, and how to make garment styles enduring over time as well as inclusive, comfortable, and health-promoting.

Other issues like cost, value for money, environmental sustainability and ethical sourcing of materials may be of interest. Furthermore, different stakeholder (student, parent, teacher, school administrator) perspectives could be measured to further explore what factors influence garment design, how those different factors inform uniform use policy within schools, extending on multi stakeholder studies similar to that done by Wilken and van Aardt [ 42 ] or McCarthy et al [ 41 ]. Regarding uniform use policy, there is little information about how school rules are developed and what principles might look like to ensure uniform use is education and health promoting. Regarding impacts of design and policy, further studies are required with objective and subjective measures of whatever phenomenon related to uniform is being investigated. In particular, more studies are required on the health and psycho-social impacts of uniforms. For instance studies such as Hopkins [ 51 ], Norrish et al. [ 48 ] and Watson et al. [ 49 ] could be replicated in other jurisdictions and cultural settings.

In terms of public policy, there is little peer-reviewed evidence on supply chains, competition law, and profits that drive uniform costs. There is little evidence about how to reduce the cost barrier of uniforms for the poor; how different societal values are incorporated into uniform design (e.g., environmental protection and school/community tradition, or, given the impacts of uniform on health and access to education, whether any form of government regulation of upfront cost, uniform policy or garment design is required (especially for state-funded schools).

An important practical implication is making the evidence about uniform’s education and health impacts available in a form easily accessible to school administrators and governors to inform their uniform garment and policy decisions. After all, educators are experts in education, not garment design or uniform policy development, so it is unsurprizing that, left alone to organize uniform, they may not develop the most health and education-promoting garments or policies.

Uniform use is deceptively simple. It is so commonplace and ordinary, however, the questions it sparks are complex and are related to deeply held views of what is normal, traditional, and socially acceptable. Yet uniform use has real impacts on health and education, for better and for worse. This review shows that uniforms may be the right diagnosis for creating an equitable learning environment, providing cost-effective garments over a student’s learning career, and easing the psychological pressure of competitive dressing. However, this review shows the importance of getting the prescription right. The efficacy and effectiveness of uniforms as a vehicle for equitable access to education and good health depends on the right prescription for uniform policy and garment design that remove potential negative effects of poor garment design and policy.

A public health lens reveals that much school uniform garment design and use policy negatively affects the poor, girls, religious and ethnic minorities, and gender-diverse students. It is a sad irony that these are the very groups who could benefit most from the equitable access to education that uniform is supposed to facilitate. This review also shows how environmental hazards, health and safety concerns, and garment comfort are neglected for all uniform wearers. There is no natural reason why any of this should be so.

Fortunately, any negative educational and health impacts of school uniform garment design and policy are amenable to change. The clarity that this review provides about the evidence for uniform’s impact on health and education may provide a starting point to ensure uniform is as healthy and education-promoting as possible and to build on the advantages uniform offers. By examining evidence of how uniform and uniform policy impacts on students’ health and wellbeing, perhaps it will be easier to establish a common idea about school uniform’s purpose(s), with a view to improving wearer experience. If the educational and health impacts of uniform are clear it could be possible to improve wearer experience to ensure that garments are desirable, equitable, healthy, and safe [ 22 ], and that both policies and garments enable all students to learn and thrive in modern life.

Author Contributions

The author undertook this entire project.

Time spent on this research was funded from my ordinary teaching salary.

Conflict of Interest

The author declares that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

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Essays About School Uniforms: Top 5 Examples And Prompts

Uniforms are a hotly-debated topic in schools worldwide; if you are writing essays about school uniforms, get inspired by reading our essay examples and writing prompts. 

School uniforms have been an education emblem for centuries; they are commonplace in primary and secondary school. They are a set of clothing that students attending a particular institution must wear during school hours and are said to encourage discipline, unity, and belonging, among other things.

However, they are a significant point of contention. As time has passed, more and more schools have discontinued their requirements for uniforms, which has sparked a heated debate over their necessity. 

If you want to write essays about school uniforms, look at the examples and writing prompts below to start. 

1. I believe students should not have to wear uniforms. by Evan

2. taking a new look at uniforms and their impact on schools by james sterngold, 3. uniforms: the pros and cons by grace chen, 4. what’s the point of school uniform by rudolph carroll, 5. not wearing the trousers: why do some schools still have sexist uniform rules by hadley freeman, 1. should school uniforms be a requirement , 2. how do school uniforms effect behaviour, 3. what’s the history and purpose of school uniforms, 4. are school uniform requirements a form of indoctrination , 5. what are the advantages of school uniforms.

“When wearing uniforms, it is a struggle to be an individual. Teachers are always saying how important it is to just be ourselves and not worry about what others might think. Having a uniform takes that away from us, and this may lead students to try to find other ways to be different. They might begin to act out so they stick out from the crowd.”

In his essay, Evan explains his opposition to school uniform requirements, including the loss of individuality and confidence. He believes that they add too much stress to an already stressful environment and that this unnecessary burden can be alleviated with a dress code. It regulates students’ clothing while still allowing them to choose and will teach them responsibility in choosing what to wear. 

”There is no direct link between uniforms and performance,’ Mr. Flanary said, ‘’but we know there is a link between the school environment and performance. Uniforms might be one way of affecting the environment, but just one.”

Sterngold writes about the introduction of uniforms at a Long Beach school. It leads to higher grades and fewer absences, and disciplinary issues. He also discusses other schools in which uniform policies appear to work in making students “better.” Finally, he notes that the school environment affects a student’s performance. 

“Deciding whether uniforms are right for your child depends upon individual circumstances. If your child has a high need for self-expression and personal comfort in her clothing, then uniforms may create unhealthy resentment and result in negative behaviors from your child.”

In her essay, Chen lists the advantages and disadvantages of uniforms in public schools. They establish a safer learning environment and may reduce gang-related violence, but they restrict comfort and self-expression. Ultimately, she leaves it up to parents to decide whether uniforms are essential, depending on their children’s personalities. 

“Imagine having to wear school uniforms everyday. The same dress code every week., the same color pants and shirts every week. Uniforms especially those that have color and style requirements for every part of the outfit are not easy for many parents to afford. Students should be able to have a choice to wear whatever they want.”

Carroll advocates for the banning of school uniforms. He writes that they suppress freedom of expression and force students to wear something they may not find comfortable; they should be able to express themselves and wear whatever they want. 

“Doubtless, some people out there will say – some waggishly, others less so – that if girls should be allowed to wear trousers at school then boys should be able to wear dresses. My personal feeling on that is, sure, boys can wear dresses if they want but women’s clothing, from skirts to stilettos, was designed to restrict women’s movement, whereas men’s clothing is all about freedom. ”

Freeman writes about school uniform policies she feels are discriminatory. For example, some schools do not allow girls to wear trousers and impose a standard on their female students. She believes that young children should be able to behave freely, including in their dressing habits. Freeman believes that the world’s standard of femininity has become more open, and the idea that girls must wear skirts is outdated.

Top 5 Prompts on Essays About School Uniforms

Essays About School Uniforms: Should school uniforms be a requirement?

Plain and simple, you can write about your position on uniforms; decide whether or not you believe students should be required to wear school uniforms. Your essay should include a clear statement of your position, a rebuttal of the opposing viewpoint, and plenty of details to support your argument- use statistics, anecdotes, and other online sources, as well as your opinions. 

Write about the effects of uniforms on students’ positive or negative behavior within school learning environments. For example, does it make them more disciplined, reserved, confident, outgoing, or cheerful? You must include research in your essay to show a clear connection. Looking for more? Check out these essays about classroom .

For your essay, read about the history of school uniforms and write about their usage. Also include their original purpose/s and how it has changed over time. Then, if you wish, you can add whether these purposes or standards have held up in the present day or not. 

For an engaging essay, write about school uniforms and indoctrination. Though it may seem like an exaggeration, some say that school uniform requirements are being used to indoctrinate students from a young age. Where do you stand? 

From a more objective standpoint, try writing about the benefits of mandatory uniforms in school. Do they instill specific values in students? Or perhaps they contribute to a better school environment, as referenced in the sample essays above. What do you think? Write about the benefits/advantages of uniforms for an exciting essay.

For help with this topic, read our guide explaining what is persuasive writing ?

If you are interested in learning more, check out our essay writing tips !

the importance of wearing school uniform essay

Martin is an avid writer specializing in editing and proofreading. He also enjoys literary analysis and writing about food and travel.

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The Pros and Cons of School Uniforms for Students

 SolStock / Getty Images

Student Safety

Focus on education, attendance rates, discipline issues, dress code enforcement, cost for families, impact on self-esteem.

The debate over whether students should wear school uniforms has been going on for more than a decade. Some people argue that uniforms have a positive impact on the school environment by promoting inclusivity, confidence, and a sense of belonging. Others fear that school uniforms prevent kids from expressing themselves through their clothing choices.

The research on school uniforms is often mixed. While some schools have found uniforms to be beneficial, other research has found that they have little effect. Some studies have even reached the conclusion that requiring school uniforms can be harmful for students.

Let's take a closer look at some of the potential benefits, as well as the challenges, of requiring students to wear uniforms.

Some people think that school uniforms can help make schools safer for kids. When Long Beach, CA, required all students in grades K–8 to wear uniforms, reports of assault and battery decreased by 34%.

Additionally, assault with a deadly weapon decreased by 50%, fighting incidents declined 51%, and sex offenses dropped by 74%. Possession of weapons dropped by 52%, possession of drugs went down 69%, and vandalism was lowered by 18%.  

The Sparks Middle School in Nevada reported a decrease in gang activity after instituting a uniform policy. They also reported a drop in fights, graffiti, property damage, and battery. Overall, there was a 63% drop in police reports.

Other proponents of school uniforms report that it prevents students from concealing weapons under clothing. And some also believe intruders would be recognized faster, making the students and staff safer in the event someone from the community tries to enter the school.

Not all studies have found that uniforms reduce discipline issues, however. In fact, a peer-reviewed study found that school uniforms increased the average number of assaults by about 14 per year in the most violent schools.  The Miami-Dade County Public Schools Office of Education Evaluation and Management found that fights in middle schools nearly doubled within one year of making uniforms mandatory.  

For many students, clothing can be a major source of stress. Not having certain brand name clothing or not wearing fashionable items could lead to feelings of insecurity. 

Some people feel students are better able to concentrate on school when they all wear the same clothing. Researchers in Australia noted that students who wear uniforms had improved discipline and academic performance.  

Not all studies have found that uniforms improve grades, however. In fact, at least one study found that school uniforms had a negative effect on achievement.  

Kids may show up to school more often when they’re wearing uniforms. A study by researchers at the University of Houston found that the average attendance rate for girls in middle and high school increased by 0.3 to 0.4 percent after school uniforms became mandatory.   A study by Youngstown State University also found that attendance rates increased and suspensions decreased once students began wearing uniforms.   

Students may also be more likely to show up to school on time when they have to wear uniforms. If they don’t have to spend time choosing what to wear every morning, students are able to get out the door more quickly. This means fewer late arrivals.

Proponents of uniforms report that it can improve behavior in students. One school that found this to be true is the John Adams Middle School in Albuquerque, NM. When they mandated school uniforms, discipline referrals dropped from 1,565 in the first semester of the previous year to 405.    

An Australian study also concluded that students wearing uniforms were more disciplined and they listened significantly better. Classes were also more likely to start on time.  

Not all studies have found this, however. Some research has found that disciplinary issues and bullying didn’t decrease after instituting a mandatory uniform policy.

Many school officials spend a lot of time policing dress codes . Enforcing policies can require a lot of resources as teachers may send kids to the office, and administrators have to determine whether clothing is too baggy, inappropriate, or revealing.

Kids who violate dress codes may spend a lot of time in the office awaiting consequences, or they may receive suspensions for repeated violations. School uniforms can keep kids in the classroom more and prevent staff from wasting time trying to enforce policies.

Parents may spend less money on school clothes when kids wear uniforms. There is less pressure to buy expensive name-brand clothing, and school uniforms might be more affordable.

Opponents of school uniforms, however, say that requiring parents to buy specific articles of clothing goes against the idea that students should be given free education. When public schools force parents to buy uniforms, this could be placing a hardship on some families.

Proponents of uniforms report that they have a positive impact on student self-esteem .   Wearing the same clothing as everyone else means that students don’t have to worry about whether their clothing choices will be acceptable to their peers.

But opponents argue that uniforms may have a negative impact on some students’ body image. Research conducted at Arizona State University found that students without uniform policies actually reported higher self-perception scores than students with uniform policies.  

When all students wear the same clothing, they may be more likely to compare themselves to their peers as clothing fits differently on everyone’s body.

The Problem With Uniform Research

Although there are many studies that examine the potential benefits and drawbacks of uniforms, many of them revealed correlation, rather than causation. Just because grades went up or behavioral problems went down, there’s no way of knowing that the reason for the change was due to uniform policy. There are many other factors that may have influenced these issues.

A Word From Verywell

Before any school adopts a uniform policy, it may be wise to review the literature. While there certainly may be a lot of benefits to making uniforms mandatory, there are also some potential drawbacks and challenges you might face. Parents, teachers, and administrators may want to weigh the pros and cons before instituting any type of clothing policy for students.

Stanley S. School uniforms and safety . Educ Urban Society. 1996;28(4 ): 424-435. doi:10.1177/0013124596028004003

Nevada Today. College of Education researchers conduct study on impacts of school uniforms .

Granberg-Rademacker JS, Bumgarner J, Johnson A. Do school violence policies matter? An empirical analysis of four approaches to reduce school violence . Southwest J Criminal Justice . 2007;4(1):3-29.

Sun Sentinel. 9 more schools to have students wear uniforms .

Baumann C, Krskova H. School discipline, school uniforms and academic performance . Int J Educ Manage . 2016;30(6):1003-1029. doi:10.1108/IJEM-09-2015-0118

McBrayer S. The school uniform movement and what it tells us about American education: A symbolic crusade, by David L. Brunsma . J Catholic Educ . 2007;11(1). doi:10.15365/joce.1101122013

Gentile E, Imberman S. Dressed for success? The effect of school uniforms on student achievement and behavior . 2011. doi:10.3386/w17337

Draa VAB. School uniforms in urban public high schools . Dissertation: Youngstown State University; 2005.  

Lumsden L, Gabriel Miller G. Dress codes and uniforms . Research Roundup: National Association of Elementary School Principals . 2002;18(4):1-5.

Wade KK, Stafford ME. Public school uniforms: Effect on perceptions of gang presence, school climate, and student self-perceptions . Educ Urban Society . 2003;35(4):399-420. doi:10.1177/0013124503255002

By Amy Morin, LCSW Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She's also a psychotherapist, an international bestselling author of books on mental strength and host of The Verywell Mind Podcast. She delivered one of the most popular TEDx talks of all time.

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Argumentative Essay on School Uniforms

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Published: Mar 5, 2024

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the importance of wearing school uniform essay

Does wearing a school uniform improve student behavior?

the importance of wearing school uniform essay

Professor of Education, and Professor of Justice Studies, University of New Hampshire

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Todd A. DeMitchell does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

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the importance of wearing school uniform essay

In a growing number of school districts across the nation, students must wear a uniform.

This is not the stereotypical school uniform associated with Catholic schools – pleated plaid skirt with a blouse for girls; a button-down shirt, a necktie and dark pants for boys. Instead, these are mostly khaki and blue or khaki and red shirt/blouse and skirt/pants uniforms.

According to the US Department of Education , wearing a uniform can decrease the risk of violence and theft, instill discipline and help school officials recognize intruders who come to the school.

As a former teacher, principal and superintendent and now a policy and law scholar, I am skeptical about such claims.

Research on the effects of school uniforms is still nascent. And the findings on the impact of school uniforms on student behavior, discipline, connection to the school, attendance and academic gains is at best mixed.

Lawsuits, protests, individuality

About half of schools around the country have dress codes policies. A dress code identifies what clothes cannot be worn to school. A school uniform policy defines what clothes must be worn to school. Dress codes limit clothing options while school uniforms define clothing options.

Schools claim that when students come in uniforms, it improves discipline and leads to academic gains. The Bossier Parish School Board in Louisiana enacted a uniform policy in 2001 in order to increase test scores and reduce disciplinary problems.

However, such mandatory policies that decide what students can or cannot wear to schools, have led to free speech violations lawsuits . Students allege such policies are unconstitutional , as they restrict their freedom of expression.

There have been nine lawsuits up to 2014. School districts have won almost all the cases, except one, where an appeals court found the uniform policy of a Nevada school unconstitutional. The school required students to wear shirts emblazoned with the school motto, “Tomorrow’s Leaders,” which the court found to be a violation of students’ free speech rights.

In addition, students have protested in their schools as well.

An example of student and parental reaction to school uniforms is found in my home state of New Hampshire when Pinkerton Academy, a private secondary school, considered adopting a “uniform dress code” (a school uniform).

Students in an online protest wrote :

[A school uniform] takes away individuality. Also, [it] will not change study habits of students. [It means] too much money [needs to be spent] for each child. Parents do not have that type of money, especially in this economy. We have the right to freedom of expression and would like to keep it that way.“ [And] "its [sic] my right to wake up in the morning and have my own unique individuality.”

Mixed impact of school uniforms

A more important question is whether there is any evidence to show that mandatory uniform policies can lead to improved student outcomes.

Research shows mixed results: it’s true that some studies show a reduction in the incidence of misbehavior. But then, there are others that show an increase in student suspensions. A few others show no significant change in student misbehavior.

the importance of wearing school uniform essay

For example, a 2010 study in a large urban school district in the Southwest found that asking students to wear uniforms did not result in any change in the number of suspensions for elementary school students.

In fact, middle and high school students experienced a significant increase in suspensions.

By contrast, a 2003 study that used a large national data set concluded that elementary and middle schools with school uniforms had fewer student behavior problems.

But, again, it found that high schools had a greater frequency of misbehavior.

Interestingly, even when evidence is available, educators’ perceptions could be at odds with it. For example, a study of educators in 38 North Carolina high schools found that 61% of the responding principals and assistant principals believed that there was a reduction in cases of misbehavior on campus when school uniforms were introduced. In reality, the data showed no change in incidents of crime, violence and suspensions.

Similarly, research on the efficacy of school uniforms on increasing student attendance and achievement is conflicted. For example, one study concluded that school uniforms resulted in increased student achievement and increased attendance.

However, another study found little impact on academics at all levels and little evidence of improvement in attendance for girls and drop in attendance for boys.

Implications for policy

So, what does lack of consistent research mean for policy?

In my view, it does not mean that schools should not implement such policies. It does mean, however, that educators must be clear about the goals that they hope to achieve with mandating school uniforms.

There is often a cost associated with mandatory school uniform policies. Lawsuits and community reactions can take up scarce resources of time and money.

Decreased discipline problems, increased attendance and increased academic achievement may not be achieved just by wearing khaki and blue. But there may be other benefits, such as, it could help a school promote its brand through a uniform look. School uniform may also serve as symbol of commitment to academic achievement.

The point is that clarity of purpose and outcome is necessary before students don their uniform in the morning.

I believe school uniforms may be part of a broad array of programs and approaches that a school may adopt to bring change. However, as a standalone measure, it implies that schools are simply trying to find an easy fix for difficult and complex problems.

School uniforms alone cannot bring about a sustained or large-scale change.

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  • suspensions
  • Freedom of expression

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School Uniform: Correlation Between Wearing Uniforms and Academic Performance Research Paper


Earlier researches have indicated that there is a strong positive correlation between wearing of uniforms and academic performance. Furthermore the use of uniforms has had a control on social behavior. Decency is of the essence for any scholar or even worker. The issue of putting on a uniform in the different spheres of life cannot be underrated, it should instead be taken with due importance.

Different countries in the world have their own standardized mode of dressing depending on their cultures, religion or social class. For any successful learning institution, the selection criterion for a uniform is an aspect that should be taken with great consideration. The combination of colors for example, may affect the students’ comfort as well as the public view and perception of the institution (Daugherty 392)

The issue of cost should also be put in to check. This is because in many third world countries like Lesotho, it was found that school drop out rate is very high due to the fact that many families cannot afford the high price of uniforms. Other countries have no regard for school uniforms due to their past history. A good example is Italy where children were forced to wear uniforms in and out of school during the Second World War.

Behavior and School Uniforms

Dropping out and breaking laws tend to be the common responses for students who have negative experiences in school. Schools are supposed to offer a constructive, positive, secure and safe environment for learning. Students should feel protected enough to discover, explore and build up their scholarly and social competencies.

There is no conclusive tangible evidence that shows that wearing of uniforms has a direct link to improved performance academically. Nevertheless, there exists evidence of fewer discipline problems and violence among students in countries that have implemented a uniform policy. The school attendance rate is also higher.

As mentioned in the introduction school uniforms have had an impact on behavior either positively or negatively. The National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 carried out an experiment on a group of learners. They later carried out a regression analysis and it was found that the correlation was either tending to zero or away from zero (Education Commission of the States: Helping state leaders shape education policy, par 2).

Depending on their results uniforms were either encouraged or discouraged. Separate researchers like Oxford University Press however found the opposite as far as behavior was concerned.

Diverse Uniform Roles

Uniforms have played a major role both physically, behaviorally and socially. Currently a learner in a uniform tends to shun away from misconduct since it is known to the society that he or she is a pupil or learner from a particular institution. Secondly uniforms bring an outward professional or academic impact.

Uniforms increase the attention of students in class as they do not concentrate on what their fellow students are wearing. Uniforms also help in leveling the socioeconomic playing field and provide the students a sense of community (Daugherty 391).

Disadvantages of School Uniforms

Various researches done show that wearing uniforms reduces the students’ responsibility in making mature decisions about what to wear (Education World: School uniforms, par 1). Uniforms also get in the way of clothes that should be worn as a religious obligation such as hijabs for Muslim girls. Financially parents have to part with more money on clothing for the students to have different sets of clothes for school and home which might be quite expensive.

Emerging Trends in Uniforms

There is a notable current trend in the design of uniforms. Female students for example have always lobbied that their uniforms should be designed in a more modern fashionable way to accommodate the rapid change in the social environment. Currently uniforms can be designed online. In this case a potential buyer visits the lab and chooses a uniform, designs it and orders for the same. In addition to this there are online professionals who are hired to design for the willing buyers.

Corporate uniforms have also been introduced in learning institutions for the staff and students. They promote a corporate image as well as the look of the organization which appears unique in nature. Other current trends involve a change in the way young learners used to dress. Most of the primary schools used to put on shorts for young boys mandatory. It has however emerged that even pre-school boys are allowed to put on trousers thus changing the nature of the uniform and culture.

From the above research it has emerged that there is more to uniforms than mere wearing of the same. With the changes in our social-cultural environment and the dynamism of technology it is important that the society and the learning institutions work together to promote a modest dress code for uniforms.

However decency needs not be ignored as a matter of fact. Regarding costs it is of paramount importance that the providers of these uniforms set a price that is affordable and reasonable to prevent a mixture of casual wear which may not be controlled or even standardized.

Works Cited

Daugherty, Richard. Leadership in Action: Piloting a School Uniform Program .123.2 (2002):391-393. Print.

Education Commission of the States 2004. Helping state leaders shape education policy: Uniforms/Dress Codes . Web.

Education World 1999. School uniforms: panacea or Band aid ?. Web.

  • Chicago (A-D)
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IvyPanda. (2018, June 18). School Uniform: Correlation Between Wearing Uniforms and Academic Performance.

"School Uniform: Correlation Between Wearing Uniforms and Academic Performance." IvyPanda , 18 June 2018,

IvyPanda . (2018) 'School Uniform: Correlation Between Wearing Uniforms and Academic Performance'. 18 June.

IvyPanda . 2018. "School Uniform: Correlation Between Wearing Uniforms and Academic Performance." June 18, 2018.

1. IvyPanda . "School Uniform: Correlation Between Wearing Uniforms and Academic Performance." June 18, 2018.


IvyPanda . "School Uniform: Correlation Between Wearing Uniforms and Academic Performance." June 18, 2018.

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Do uniforms make schools better?

by: Marian Wilde | Updated: March 1, 2024

Print article

Do uniforms make schools better?

Schools, parents, and students frequently clash over the issue of regulating what students may and may not wear to school. These controversies often pegged to the culture war of the moment touch on everything from gender and sexuality to politics, race, and religion. In 2021, a group of about 50 students in Georgia protested their middle school’s dress code for being discriminatory against BIPOC girls by wearing t-shirts every Friday emblazoned with the words “sexist,” “racist,” and “classist.” In 2022, a fight between students, staff, and police officers broke out at a Pennsylvania high school when hats and hoodies were banned as part of a revision by the school board to the school’s dress code. And in 2023, two Michigan middle schoolers, via their mother, sued their school district after they were banned from wearing “Let’s Go Brandon” sweatshirts.

Are school uniforms the best solution to this contentious debate? If every student is wearing the same outfit, will a host of campus problems be solved? Researchers are divided over how much of an impact — if any — dress policies have on student learning. There are multiple studies with conflicting conclusions, plus books such as 2018’s The Debate About School Uniforms , but the argument wears on, with a list of pros and cons on each side.

Why do some public schools have uniforms?

In the 1980s, public schools were often compared unfavorably to Catholic schools. Noting the perceived benefit that uniforms conferred upon Catholic schools, some public schools decided to adopt a school uniform policy.

President Clinton provided momentum to the school uniform movement when he said in his 1996 State of the Union speech, “If it means teenagers will stop killing each other over designer jackets, then our public schools should be able to require their students to wear school uniforms.”

The pros and cons of school uniforms

According to proponents, school uniforms:.

  • Help prevent gangs from forming on campus

  • Encourage discipline

  • Help students resist peer pressure to buy trendy clothes

  • Help identify intruders in the school

  • Diminish economic and social barriers between students

  • Increase a sense of belonging and school pride

  • Improve attendance

Opponents contend that school uniforms:

  • Violate a student’s right to freedom of expression

  • Are simply a Band-Aid on the issue of school violence

  • Make students a target for bullies from other schools

  • Are a financial burden for poor families

  • Are an unfair additional expense for parents who pay taxes for a free public education

  • Are difficult to enforce in public schools

Uniforms vs. dress codes

Schools and districts vary widely in how closely they adhere to the concept of uniformity.

What’s a dress code?

Generally, dress codes are more relaxed than uniform policies. Sometimes, however, dress codes are quite strict with requirements that are potentially viewed as biased based on race or gender. In 2020, two Black male students in Texas, cousins with West Indian heritage, were suspended for wearing dreadlocks in supposed violation of the district’s hair and grooming policy, part of the dress code. The elder one, a senior, was told he couldn’t attend prom or graduation until his dreads were trimmed. In 2022, girls on the track team at an Albany, NY high school were sent home for wearing sports bras at practice.

Uniforms are certainly easier for administrators to enforce than dress codes, largely because the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) can be depended upon to protect a student’s “right to express themselves.” The ACLU believes dress codes are often used to, “shame girls, force students to conform to gender stereotypes… punish students who wear political and countercultural messages. Such policies can be used as cover for racial discrimination… Dress codes can also infringe on a student’s religious rights…” To successfully enforce a dress code, insists the ACLU, the school must prove the student’s attire, “is disruptive to school activities.”

The ACLU’s dress code stance is regularly supported by federal courts , like the 2023 lower court ruling in North Carolina that ended a charter school decree that girls couldn’t wear pants to school. ACLU lawyers claimed this violated Title IX because the dress code “discriminated against female students by limiting their ability to fully participate in school activities, such as using the playground.” The U.S. Supreme Court later declined to take up a case challenging the lower court’s ruling.

Check with your school to see what the dress code is, as they can be fairly specific. In Tulsa, Oklahoma, for example, the dress code prohibits :

  • Symbols, mottoes, words or acronyms that convey crude, vulgar, profane, violent, death-oriented, gang-related, sexually explicit, or sexually suggestive messages.
  • Symbols, mottoes, words or acronyms advertising tobacco, alcohol, or illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia.
  • Symbols, mottoes, words or acronyms identifying a student as a member of a secret or overtly antisocial group or gang or that identifies a student as a member of an organization that professes violence or hatred toward one’s fellow man.
  • Visible and permanent tattoos/brands incompatible with the standards set forth herein shall be covered to prohibit their display.
  • Excessively large or baggy clothes

What’s a uniform?

School uniforms worldwide can widely range from nondescript to bizarre. (Extreme examples from China, Australia, and the UK on this YouTube video ) Most public school outfits in the USA are quite casual, with a “ common type ” for boys often a polo shirt in a solid color, with pants in khaki, black, or navy blue. A girl’s uniform is often a skirt and a white buttoned-up shirt. Dress shoes are frequently required for both genders.

In the United States, low-income families spend an average of $249 on a child’s school uniform annually, far less than the typical Australian student’s $578. But still, the cost is sometimes viewed as unfair because public education is intended to be free, paid by tax dollars, not “a stress for families on lower incomes.” The ACLU believes that public schools should provide free school uniforms , because the expense is unconstitutional, and it increases wealth inequity.

What research says about school uniforms

In 2006, Virginia Draa, professor at Youngstown State University, reviewed the impact of school uniforms at 64 public high schools that had larger percentages of economically disadvantaged and minority students than other urban schools. Her conclusion surprised her: “I really went into this thinking uniforms don’t make a difference, but I came away seeing that they do… I was absolutely floored.” Her analysis determined that the schools with uniforms improved their students attendance, and graduation rates rose an average almost 11 percent.

In 2022, Ohio State University and University of Pennsylvania researchers reached a contrary opinion in their report titled “ School Uniforms and Students Behavior: Is There a Link? ” Their view was that, in general, evidence that school uniforms improve social skills in the students was “inconclusive.” The solitary praise they provided to uniform-wearing was noting there was “some indication that low-income students in schools that required uniforms demonstrated better school attendance than low-income students in schools that did not.”

What to believe? Jury is still out.

What do students think about uniforms?

A student discussion: pros and cons of uniforms

Editor’s note: This video is part of our high school milestones series about communication skills. The students in this video discuss the pros and cons of school uniforms.

A University of Nevada, Reno, survey of 1,848 middle school students, published in 2022, revealed that 90 percent did not like wearing a uniform to school . Only 30 percent believed the uniforms “might reduce discipline issues, a mere 17 percent thought the uniform helped them focus at school, 34 percent believed their school was safer due to the uniforms and 37 percent said, “I worry less about my appearance” due to the uniform requirement.”

An earlier study, also in Nevada, displayed similar unpopularity with newly instituted uniforms among middle school students. However, when the researchers looked into school discipline and local police records and compared them to the prior year’s data, discipline referrals were down 10 percent, there were 63 percent fewer police log reports, and incidences of graffiti, fights, and gang-related activity were all down.

It’s a big issue

A new trend is the mounting pressure to establish dress codes for teachers. Apparently, the same casual mindset toward revealing outfits is cropping up in the ranks of our teachers.

The debate over uniforms in public schools encompasses many larger issues than simply what children should wear to school. It touches on issues of school improvement, freedom of expression, and hot-button culture wars. It’s no wonder the debate rages on.

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Essay on School Uniform

Students are often asked to write an essay on School Uniform in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.

Let’s take a look…

100 Words Essay on School Uniform


School uniforms are a common part of school life. They symbolize unity, equality, and pride.

Uniforms create a sense of belonging. Everyone wearing the same attire feels part of a team.

Uniforms eliminate social barriers. No one is judged by their clothes, promoting fairness.

Uniforms instill school pride. They represent the school’s identity and values.

In conclusion, school uniforms play a vital role in promoting unity, ensuring equality, and fostering pride among students.

Also check:

  • Paragraph on School Uniform

250 Words Essay on School Uniform

The debate over school uniforms has been a contentious issue within educational institutions for many years. Advocates argue that uniforms foster a sense of belonging, equality, and discipline, while opponents claim they suppress individuality and creativity.

Uniforms and Equality

School uniforms serve as a great equalizer in the school environment. They eliminate the visible disparities in socio-economic status often reflected in clothing choices. Uniforms create a level playing field where students are judged on their academic performance and personal qualities, not their attire.

Discipline and Focus

Uniforms are believed to enhance discipline and focus. They minimize distractions associated with fashionable or provocative clothing, allowing students to concentrate on their studies. The uniform serves as a reminder of the school’s behavioral expectations, thereby promoting adherence to rules.

Identity and Belonging

Wearing a school uniform can foster a strong sense of identity and belonging. It symbolizes being part of a community and can instill pride in one’s school. This can improve students’ commitment to their education and their school’s values.

The Counter-Argument

Despite the benefits, critics argue that uniforms inhibit self-expression. They believe clothing is a form of personal expression and that uniforms limit students’ ability to explore their identity. They also argue that uniforms do not necessarily improve discipline or academic performance.

The debate on school uniforms is complex, with both sides presenting valid arguments. It ultimately boils down to the school’s philosophy and the specific needs of its student body. As such, the decision to implement school uniforms should be made with careful consideration of these factors.

500 Words Essay on School Uniform

The topic of school uniforms has been a subject of heated debates in educational and social circles. The concept of students wearing uniform in school is often seen as a means of maintaining decorum and creating an environment conducive to learning.

Historical Context

The tradition of school uniforms has its roots in the 16th century England. The purpose was to create a sense of belonging and equality among students, regardless of their social and economic backgrounds. Over the years, this practice has been adopted by many countries around the world, each with its unique rationale and implementation.

The Argument for School Uniforms

Proponents of school uniforms argue that they promote equality and diminish the impact of socioeconomic differences. Uniforms can act as a social leveler, preventing students from feeling marginalized or judged based on their clothing. Moreover, uniforms can also help foster a sense of unity and school spirit, enhancing the overall school culture.

Uniforms can also simplify the daily routine for students and parents alike. They remove the stress of choosing what to wear each day, allowing students to focus more on their studies. Additionally, they simplify the enforcement of dress code policies, reducing conflicts between students and school administration.

The Argument Against School Uniforms

Critics of school uniforms often cite their potential to suppress individuality and self-expression. They argue that allowing students to choose their clothes is a way to encourage creativity and personal growth. In addition, opponents contend that uniforms can be financially burdensome for low-income families, especially considering the need for multiple sets of uniforms.

Empirical Evidence

Research on the impact of school uniforms presents a mixed picture. Some studies suggest that uniforms can improve discipline and academic performance, while others find no significant effects. It’s important to note that the impact of uniforms can be influenced by a variety of factors, including the specific policies and practices of individual schools and the attitudes of students and parents.

The debate on school uniforms is complex, with valid arguments on both sides. It’s clear that uniforms can have both positive and negative impacts, and their effectiveness can vary greatly depending on the context. Therefore, it’s crucial for schools to carefully consider the needs and perspectives of their students and communities when deciding on uniform policies. This way, they can create an environment that not only promotes learning, but also respects the individuality and diversity of their students.

That’s it! I hope the essay helped you.

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the importance of wearing school uniform essay


Should Students Wear School Uniforms Essay (Tips and Sample)

School uniforms essay

School uniforms are a hotly contested debate, which makes it a controversial topic preferred for school essays. Even though writing a school uniform essay should be easy, students' confessions after being assigned both long and short essays on school uniform show mixed results. Most students who have been given an essay on school uniforms have highlighted it as exciting and tricky.

Well, to write an essay that will score you an excellent grade, you need to understand your perspective, viewpoint, or stand before writing. As yourself, whether you will support school uniforms or you will be against them in your essay.

In most cases, the essay can be argumentative where you argue either for or against, then proceed to state your stand on whether or not you support school uniforms in learning institutions. You can also write an informative essay or a persuasive school uniform essay.

This article covers some aspects to consider when writing such an essay, some suitable topics, and general advice on how to write an outstanding school uniforms essay.

How to begin a School Uniforms Essay

You aim to demystify the school uniforms debate. Therefore, you need to strategize on how to begin the essay. Like other essays, starting with an essay hook would make it interesting to the readers. After the hook, head straight to writing some background information on school uniforms. You can then incorporate a thesis statement that presents your central stance on the paper.

Here is a sample school uniform hook:

A recent study by North Dakota State University revealed that an average American household spends close to 3.8% of their income on clothing, translating to approximately $2000 annually per household.

The hook above is essential when you argue from a cost perspective where you say that school uniforms save families from expenditures on buying different clothes for kids, which equalizes the rich and poor households.

In your background, you can try reference instances when school uniforms have stirred public debates. Inform your reader about these debates and highlight the key issues you will handle in your essay.

At the end of the introduction paragraph, state your thesis statement.

What goes to the body of a school uniform essay?

With the introduction done, you now need to develop the body paragraphs. As a general rule, always maintain a single idea per paragraph. If you are doing your essay in a five-paragraph essay format, ensure that the body of your essay takes 80% of the total word count while the introduction and the conclusion each take 10%.  

Here are some key ideas you can incorporate in the body of your essay:

  • Explain the essence of having school uniforms on students, teachers, and learning institutions. Issues such as security and safety, uniformity, and promoting togetherness or unity as benefits. It is easy to spot a student in uniform. School uniforms also enforce some self-respect and self-worth among students. As well, uniforms foster a sense of belonging among students.
  • Explore the issue from a cost-saving perspective for the parents. Unlike having different clothes daily, having a few pieces of school uniforms reduces the expenditure per household.
  • Connect school uniforms to issues such as creativity, comfort, and affordability. Lack of funds, for instance, can hinder some families from sending their children to school as they have no school uniforms.
  • You can also present the pros and cons of school uniforms
  • Connect the school uniforms to identity formation
  • School uniforms equalize students, which boosts their self-confidence
  • School uniform makes students not be imaginative
  • In the end, present recommendations that can solve the school uniform quagmire in schools

Like any other essay, ensure that your essay about school uniforms is engaging. Take a multi-stakeholder approach if you are recommending a policy.

If you have real-life examples of how school uniforms are beneficial, present them to support your body paragraphs. As you strive to present your viewpoints, ensure that each paragraph transitions to the next paragraph.

If possible, benchmark your arguments on schools that have successfully implemented school uniforms.

How to end an essay on school uniform

Like the introduction, the conclusion of your essay matters a lot. It can be the only place a marker checks to know what your stance was when writing your school uniforms essay.

Let your readers know whether school uniforms are good or not. Do not just stop there explore the why and why not for each of your points.

If there are recommendations, especially if you were writing an essay based on a school uniforms case study, present them in the conclusion.

DO not introduce new ideas that are not in your essay. However, crystalize and relate to your thesis and make sure your readers enjoy your essay to the last dot.

Sample School Uniforms Essay Topics

School uniform essays differ in perspective or stance, which hugely depends on the choice of topic. We can advise you to choose a school essay topic that has practical points and one that you can support with evidence from scholarly literature.

  • Is school uniform a good thing?
  • The importance of school uniforms
  • Should students wear uniforms?
  • Pros and Cons of school uniforms
  • The negative impacts of school uniforms
  • Rhetorical analysis of school uniforms
  • Positive effects of school uniforms
  • Are school uniforms a dress for success?
  • Why schools should have uniforms
  • History of school dress code
  • School uniforms in private and public schools
  • Should all schools have the same uniform?
  • Are school uniforms necessary?
  • School uniforms and diversity
  • School uniforms and student discipline
  • Comparison of school uniforms in U.S. and Japan

School Uniforms Essay Check List

With your essay written, ensure that it ticks most if not all these lists of facts that make a school uniform score great grades.

  • Does the essay have a great hook?
  • Is the background of your introduction relatable to the selected topic?
  • Does the introduction have supporting facts from scholarly sources?
  • Does your introduction have a clear thesis statement?
  • Is the main idea clearly illustrated in the body?
  • Does each body paragraph have an idea of its own?
  • Does the essay have transition words for effective flow?
  • Does the body discuss important concepts?
  • Is the body paragraph having an opening sentence, facts, and closing sentence?
  • Has all borrowed information been cited?
  • Does the essay have strong evidence?
  • Is the essay grammatically correct?
  • Is the conclusion a summary of the argument?
  • Has the thesis been restated?
  • Is the conclusion flowing with the body of the essay?
  • Has the essay used formal language?
  • Are the sentences free from unnecessary words?
  • Is the grammar and spelling in the essay correct?
  • Are the references correct?
  • Are the references recent?
  • Are the sources used credible?
  • Does the essay have a title and reference page?

Sample Argumentative Essay on Should Students Wear School Uniforms

Disclaimer – DO NOT COPY this sample essay. It is meant to help you see how you can present your essay ideas given your perspective/viewpoint. Submitting any part of this essay as your own might land you in trouble. We will not be in any way be a party to such consequences. If you need a model essay based on your selected topic for research purposes, please place an order or contact our support team for assistance with outlines, potential references, and some ideas on writing an excellent essay on school uniforms.

Numerous debates have been carried out on whether students should wear uniforms or not. Parents, teachers, students, and school administrations have all given their views on school uniforms with different arguments and opinions on all sides. Supporters of school uniforms argue that school uniforms are essential as they give students an identity and foster discipline, while others argue that uniforms are annoying, uncomfortable, and lack creativity. Regardless of the position one takes on students wearing uniforms, it is clear that uniforms are an essential part of students, and students wearing uniforms is more advantageous to both the students and schools. Thus, all students should wear uniforms as the uniforms instill a sense of discipline and identity, erase differences between the students, and are less costly (thesis statement)

School uniforms eliminate the differences between students in regard to their social and economic backgrounds ( School uniforms promote equality ) . Schools have students from different social and economic backgrounds. The school environment has students from both poor and rich families. Hence, uniforms are important as they are modest and identical clothing that propagate a sense of equality among the students (Freeburg and Workman, 6). Accordingly, all students should wear school uniforms to avoid a situation where some students feel inadequate for being able to afford expensive clothing like their more affluent counterparts. A learning environment and education, in general, are supposed to bridge the social-economic differences that exist in society.

Parents can save much money that would otherwise go to buying a wide variety of school clothes for their children ( school uniforms save parents money spent on clothing ). School uniforms provide a cheaper and more consistent alternative to regular clothing. If students are allowed to wear regular clothing to school, parents and guardians have to buy clothes that are in line with the latest fashion trends and the individual tastes of their children, both of which can be expensive. In this case, students should wear school uniforms that are affordable and identical to save parents money that can be used for more important things (Baumann and Krskova 1003). Affordability is essential for parents considering the enormous expenses associated with bringing up children in the modern era. Therefore, all students should wear uniforms as uniforms protect the financial interest of the parents and guardians.

Wearing school uniforms saves teachers, students, and administrators valuable time ( Bringing in the time-saving perspective of school uniforms ). Without uniforms, teachers and schools, administrators spend significant amounts of time regulating the dress code. For instance, time wasted deciding which clothes are appropriate, what skirt-size is too short, among other issues that arise in regulating regular clothes to make appropriate for the school environment (Ruggerone 573). Such challenges would not exist if all students wore uniforms. Consequently, students also waste valuable time because of the distractions that might be caused by clothes that their peers are wearing. Therefore, to eliminate time wastage and distractions in school, students should wear uniforms.

According to individuals and parties who oppose school uniforms, the uniforms limit the personal expression of students and can forcibly define gender roles for the children as girls have to wear skirts and boys’ trousers ( school uniforms stifle independence and creativity) - COUNTERARGUMENT . People express themselves through their clothes, which means that forcing students to wear uniforms affects their personal expressions (Masuch and Hefferon 227). Additionally, uniforms are gender-specific, which means that they can negatively impact the personalities of students as they are forced to wear uniforms that they do not feel reflect what they want to be or do with their lives. Thus, as the proponents against school uniforms argue, uniforms should be eliminated as they infringe on the independence of young students.

To sum up, there are numerous arguments that either support or oppose the wearing of uniforms by students. Supporters of school uniforms claim that uniforms give students a sense of identity and discipline, enhance social and economic equality, and save costs. On the other side, proponents against school uniforms claim that school uniforms limit the personal expression of students and force them into specified gender roles. Judging from the advantages and disadvantages of uniforms, it is clear that all students should wear uniforms as they distinguish students from civilians and enhance equality in the school environment.

Baumann, Chris, and Hana Krskova. "School discipline, school uniforms, and academic performance." International Journal of Educational Management 30.6 (2016): 1003-1029.

Freeburg, Beth W., and Jane E. Workman. "Dress Codes and Uniforms." Encyclopedia of Adolescence (2016): 1-13.

Masuch, Christoph-Simon, and Kate Hefferon. "Understanding the links between positive psychology and fashion: A grounded theory analysis." International Journal of Fashion Studies 1.2 (2014): 227-246.

Ruggerone, Lucia. "The feeling of being dressed: Affect studies and the clothed body." Fashion Theory 21.5 (2017): 573-593.

the importance of wearing school uniform essay

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A Discussion On the Importance Of School Uniform: For And Against

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