Last year at the beginning of the first school term it became nationwide news when Hartsford High School in Kent had refused to let pupils enter school grounds because of their ‘inappropriate’ uniform which did not follow the school code of conduct.
While the head teacher of Hartsford had received positive feedback from local parents commenting that the code had set ‘high standards’ for school to be a highlight in the local community a small group of parents were out radged. Due to the teenagers being sent home from school parents brought it to the attention of the media that this had a catastrophic effect on their child’s education. The main issues came from a number of people who had ‘skin tight clothes on’, ‘inappropriate’ shoe wear and those who came without their blazers on. Many complained that those caught up in the situation were being prevented from missing the utmost vital education which could damage their studies, especially for those sitting exams. Since becoming local new this has become a conflicting topic of discussion.
Who is in the right?
In my perspective this could be argued from two points of view.
Firstly it is known that the way we dress allows us to express our different personalities. For some people wearing different shoes, clothes, hairstyles and accessories this can be a structure, which adds to their confidence, while they are at school. If this is true then why would it be acceptable to take this away from these young adults? On the other hand one of the main concerns coming from this story is money. In some cases the children’s parents were told to buy new uniform that was more appropriate but just because these things can be easily sourced in shops does that mean that everyone can afford them? Reading about child poverty this week has opened my eyes to the fact that a large majority of families struggle to make ends meet, if so then I don’t think it would be right to dismiss the fact that pupils might not have appropriate uniform because this is what is affordable for their family.
However on the other side of the fence I feel that having a set uniform for everyone in schools provides equality among pupils and their peers. If this code was not implemented it would isolate those from less fortunate backgrounds. All of a sudden school would become a competition of who has the best and most expensive outfit rather than what the real concern is. LEARNING.
As an aspiring professional I believe that the consistent attitude of the Head teacher and his staff has been positive in ensuring that standards will be kept in the school. By maintaining these standards will provide an education to pupils on what to expect in their future careers as the majority of professions have a set standard of how they expect their colleagues to dress. I see it from the perspective that, if you see a nurse on ward wearing a tracksuit or a police officer wearing jeans and a t-shirt while arresting someone, how would you react? How would that be different than wearing the correct uniform to school?
Sometimes building the small pieces of the puzzle first will help create a better idea of the picture. In this case I believe that this was the schools intentions and in the long term it will be worthwhile.