Category Archives: 2.2 Education Systems & Prof. Responsibilities

BBC Article – Hartsdown Academy School Uniform

After reading this article, I would have to agree that the Head Teacher of this school has taken the issue of ‘inappropriate uniform’ far too far.

I fully understand why a school would wish to keep their uniform guidelines tight, however in this case, I think the pupils are being treated unfairly.  Uniforms create a sense of unity, and in general, makes the image of the school a lot smarter and professional.  In the video which is included in the article, you can hear the father of a pupil speaking to the head, and stating that his daughter’s shoes are ‘perfectly, black, normal, everyday shoes’.  I feel like the Head Teacher is marking his position, making it clear to all pupils that he has the final say.  The girl’s shoes, from what I could see from the images on the article, are in fact, perfectly black shoes, and I don’t see any problem with them.

I feel that I can relate to the frustration of both the parents and pupils.  At my school, we didn’t actually have a uniform – we could wear whatever we liked.  I personally think this is better than uniforms as it gives pupils the freedom of choice, and also the opportunity to express themselves.  However, in my last year, a new head teacher arrived and cranked up the focus on clothing.  What frustrated me, was that we had never been told about a dress code.  During my whole 6 years of education, there was no written rules as to what you could and could not wear. All of a sudden, I was getting stopped in the corridor and told off for wearing sandals on a hot summers day, which to me, seemed crazy!  It also frustrated me, that it was generally girls getting told off rather than boys.  Boys were allowed to leave the PE department in their shorts when it was nice weather out, however if girls attempted to leave the department, they were quickly turned back to the changing rooms to ‘cover themselves’.  Having been spoken to, several times about my choices of clothing, be it sandals, or my stomach being slightly on show, I felt picked on. The clothes that I was wearing was not inappropriate, yet I was being told it was the wrong thing and that it was ‘against the dress code’.  The dress code being non-existent apart from inside the head teachers head…

Fair enough, have a dress code, have a uniform, but there has to be some sort of flexibility regarding these.  Some pupils don’t always have the money to be able to buy the most appropriate items to match their uniform guidelines.  If the code says black shoes, and the pupil is wearing black shoes, they should not be denied their education.