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The case for dropping school uniforms altogether

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14.09.2017

There is a current community discussion under way that focuses on the need to open more varied school uniform rules for girls – to allow them to wear school uniform that is more traditionally male. At present, the discussion is limited to reducing the disadvantage experienced by girls, through the introduction of trousers and pants options, removing the expectation on girls to wear dresses to school – gendered uniforms. But could we go further and get rid of school uniforms completely?

It seems to me that the discussion should be more about: "Is time up for school uniforms?" Should school children be given the freedom and responsibility to dress as they choose when they come to school? I have worked in schools that have tight uniform regulations, and in schools that have no uniforms. My preference is overwhelmingly for "no uniform" expectations, the West European model.

The existence of school uniforms owes much of its heritage to our British forbears. Many of our Australian school uniforms were modelled in the 19th century, from these British schools. School uniforms date back to the 16th century in Britain, the first school uniform thought to have been introduced in 1552 at Christ Hospital, London. Whereas the........

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