News 21 March 2021

UK Ministers told to scrap “repressive” school uniforms

21 March 2021

Ministers have been told to abolish school uniforms as they are “repressive” and that pupils should be able to “find their own style”.

The Earl of Clancarty told the House of Lords that he supported the proposal to cut the cost of school uniforms following the new Education Bill which includes guidance about the costs of school uniform but The Earl also advocated for the end of school uniforms – saying, “Better still, get rid of school uniforms.”

“They’re an outmoded idea, ultimately a repressive aspect of the educational system itself, designed to keep children in line and indeed, in effect, part of the wider educational policy working against a child-centred approach to education.

“No school has to have a school uniform. Nevertheless the Government does not take a neutral stance on this, strongly recommending that schools do have one.”

“Moreover, in their guidance, the department states that a school uniform policy ‘flows from the duties placed upon all governing bodies by statute to ensure that school policies promote good behaviour and discipline amongst the pupil body’.”

“There is increasing school uniform scepticism and the Government and schools should listen to those voices.”

Another peer added, “It is the right place for teenagers in particular to test out what to wear and find their own style, and that is itself an important part of education.”

The new Guidance About Costs of School Uniform legislation would make te costs of school uniforms legally binding.

This would mean that schools would be forced to limit their school uniform policies to only include low cost items and limited use of branded items.

This debate comes after upcoming GCSE and A Level Summer 2021 exams were scrapped due to the Covid-19 pandemic. These exams will instead be replaced by teacher assessment.