Uniformity of guidelines?

The Belfast Telegraph picks up on the Department of Education issuing guidelines on school uniforms to be adopted at the end of the current term – guidelines which have already been adopted in England and Wales apparently. The guidelines seem reasonable enough from what I can see at first glance.. Now, what about those other guidelines?The Belfast Telegraph picks out some key points on the uniform guidelines, I wasn’t able to find them at the Department.

Uniform guidance: key points

They must be affordable
They must be widely available
No exclusive deals with suppliers
Schools could face sanctions
Schools should consult with community
Human rights balanced with the general good
Schools must act reasonably over religious requirements

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  • observer

    Human rights balanced with the general good

    Human rights now extend to school uniforms?? FFS

  • StarHound

    This move is long overdue as the current system is clearly unfair and hits poorest parents hardest, but why could it have not have been done before the start of this term?

    Parents have already been obliged to pay over the odds for school uniforms this school year as children are already back at school. Standard items of clothing can cost up to five times more than in these tied suppliers than in regular clothes shops – all because the schools get a kick back and have been able to set and enforce their own rules.

  • Turgon

    I was at a country grammar school in the mid to late 1980s. From memory the school blazer was about £70 then. They could only be bought from two shops. Looking back that was not cheap at all for then. My sister got some grief because in sixth form she wore my old blazer and it was a boys not a girls blazer. My very caustic mother told the school to get lost. Is that everyone else’s experience and have times changed? My four year old is at nursery school and the uniform is fairly reasonable in price, but I do not know about secondary schools.

  • middle-class ****

    observer

    Islamic headscarves, pioneer pins, turbans, poppies. Of course human rights to freedom of expression and freedom of religion come into play where school uniform is concerned.

  • observer

    #

    observer

    Islamic headscarves, pioneer pins, turbans, poppies. Of course human rights to freedom of expression and freedom of religion come into play where school uniform is concerned.
    Posted by middle-class **** on Oct 11, 2007 @ 05:04 PM

    so satan worhsippers could wear occult items and kill c hickens on school grounds then, after all tis their religion

  • joeCanuck

    I can sympathize Turgon.
    I too went to a grammar school, but in the 60s. Again, we had a school uniform with an “official” blazer. Poor kids could wear a nondescript blazer.
    Well, I had 3 siblings at the same school so there was no way that my parents could afford the “official” blazer. Unlike you, we had only one store to go to and the price was stupendous.
    So, we made do with the generic blazer. We were looked down at by those who had the official one (about half of the kids) and by too many of the teachers, some of whom had the audacity to mock our “poorness”.
    So I’m glad to see that number one on the guidelines deals with affordability.

  • Turgon

    joeCanuck,
    That is very interesting. Very few families would have so much money that four blazers in a year was a non issue. We had to wear our blazers to destruction because of their cost. Also of course that meant that they ended up several sizes too small. A more affordable blazer would ironically lead to better dressed children. I suspect grammar schools were not that clever or forward looking at that point. Are they any better now?

    On an unrelated point, and I tread carefully here, I worry about the skirts many girls wear eg Methody. When I was a student I thought it was great to have similar aged girls with such short skirts about (even fundamentalists think this way if we are honest).

    Now my mother lives near a retired prison officer who worked at Magilligan. He told me that he was once escorting a sex offender to Coleraine Hospital. The prisoner was excitedly leering at the young girls with short skirts. Clearly in no way is this justifying the pervert’s crimes but one wonders just how good an idea it is to have children with such short skirts.

  • It’s about time- many schools operate nothing short of a cartel with local uniform retailers which unsurprisingly often results in uniforms only being available at selected outlets and costing an arm and a leg. I’m not a big fan of uniforms as it is, but if schools are going to have one, then surely the uniform they choose should be based on practicality rather than high price.

  • Cadiz

    Schools in England will ban or prohibit just about anything, the crucifix, hot cross buns, skirts for girls, purity rings, you name it and somebody will want to ban it.

    It was to be hoped that DENI would ditch the DfES politicking in that area.

    It took months of constant pressure by parents and gender rights advocates (and the threat of legal action) to get the DfES to concede that skirts were not that abnormal for English schoolgirls.

  • Cadiz

    “So, we made do with the generic blazer. We were looked down at by those who had the official one (about half of the kids) and by too many of the teachers, some of whom had the audacity to mock our “poorness”. ”

    I can remember the free meal ticket pupils having to enter the canteen last for the same sitting.

    The little pink tickets looked 2nd class compared to the thicker paid tickets. It was humiliating.