Last week, oldest came back from school wearing his autumn/winter PE kit. To cut a long story short, it was his class assembly, there were morning and afternoon performances as the hall is now too small for the increased intake the council has enforced on the school and the kids needed to be dressed in black.
It struck me that he looked happier and more relaxed than usual and that it would make a great school uniform. A few days later, I read this piece about one school’s plans to do just this.
Telford Junior School in Leamington Spa is proposing to replace traditional school uniform with hoodies and tracksuit bottoms. And I, for one, think it’s a great idea.
For me, the most important thing about uniform is that it’s a great leveller. Children can come from all kinds of backgrounds but, put them in the same outfit, and a sense of belonging it instilled.
While they’re in school, they all get the same opportunities as one another and their clothing should absolutely reflect this.
But it doesn’t have to be the formal clothing that we’ve all become familiar with. While some may feel that hoodies and tracksuit bottoms are a little too informal, I think these choices are spot on.
I’ve always believed that, if people are comfortable, they’ll be more productive with work. There’s a reason I wear jeans and hoodies every day without fail!
It’s not just on school grounds that a new approach could be of benefit though. According to disturbing recent research, 35% of girls have been sexually harassed while wearing school uniforms in public.
One in eight of them were 12 years of age or under. Now I’m not saying that replacing traditional uniforms with things like hoodies and tracksuit bottoms would completely stop disgraceful things like this from happening, but it could reduce incidents and make girls feel safer.
Returning to school premises,there’s also the fact that these particular sartorial choices go hand-in-hand with keeping active. With an alarming increase in childhood obesity, I think anything that promotes exercise can only be a good thing.
On a related note, a uniform like this would save so much time. Particularly for teachers of infant classes. Younger children take so long to get changed in and out of PE kits, that lesson times are reduced massively.
In turn, this would almost certainly reduce the eternally irritating issue of lost property. Sure, kids will still misplace things as they’re kids and that’s what they do, but limiting their opportunities to lose garments appeals to me.
Some may argue that children ought to change clothes after PE lessons. But what about those days when they don’t have them? Do they stop charging around the playground at break getting a sweat on due to a lack of fresh clothes to don afterwards? No!
The biggest advantage for me, though, is the cost. Traditional uniforms aren’t exactly durable – we have had to buy SO many pairs of trousers. Clothing designed to cope with kids being kids will surely make a difference.
All in all, I think hoodies and tracksuit bottoms offer a practical solution to a number of school-related challenges.
So if this is ever suggested at my kids’ school, I’m voting in favour. What do you think?