Do we even need school uniform at all?


24th August 2022

WITH the cost of living crisis hitting everyone’s wallets, lots of parents are worried about how they’re going to pay for your school uniform. Whether you’re going to a new school or have just grown out of your old uniform, new kit can be a big expense. So what can be done? And do we even need school uniform at all?

The UK (and the rest of the world) is struggling with a cost of living crisis. That means just about everything is going up in price, whether it’s food, petrol, gas, electricity, DIY materials or how much your parents pay to buy or rent your house.

Although some of you might not wear school uniform at all, more and more schools now insist on it. It’s also common now for schools to have more branded items, such as ties and blazers that have a school badge or crest on them.

Kate Stephenson, the author of A Cultural History Of School Uniform, told us: “There’s been a tendency in the last 15-20 years to make uniforms more strict, and a lot of state schools have moved away from their relaxed 1960s and ’70s approach and back into blazers and ties.”

But often these can only be bought from certain shops, adding up to £10 to the cost of each item.

“As living costs spiral, parents are really struggling to cope with the cost of school uniform,” says Kate Anstey, head of the Child Poverty Action Group’s Cost of the School Day programme. “Some are going without, getting into debt or saving for months to get their children the required kit. And we know that kids get pulled from lessons or sent home for not having all the required uniform.

England is the only UK nation where lower income families can’t get Government support for uniform costs. That isn’t right. The Government must build on the uniform guidance by putting in place clothing grants for hard-pressed families. Families are struggling… There is no reason for the extra burden of unnecessary uniform costs.”

Why do we have to wear uniform anyway?

That’s a very good question! Northern Ireland’s Department of Education says uniform supports “positive behaviour and discipline” and protects children from “social pressures to dress in a particular way”. It adds that “many schools also believe that school uniform supports effective teaching and learning.”

However, researchers at the Education Endowment Foundation say that the evidence on whether uniform affects learning is “extremely weak” and that “wearing a uniform is not, on its own, likely to improve learning”.

Kate Stephenson also says there’s no evidence that uniform improves behaviour. “Nobody’s really done any research on it at all,” she says, “but people keep talking about it as though it’s true. The reason

I think people make the association is because you get new head teachers in, they make sweeping changes in schools and one of them is often to introduce uniform. And then the school improves, but it’s actually got nothing to do with the uniform – it’s to do with all the other changes that were made. It tends to be that schools with stricter uniforms have better behaviour, but usually because they’re selective [schools where you have to pass a test to get in].”

So with parents struggling for money, could schools drop uniform rules or at least relax them?

“I think schools would function perfectly well without uniform,” Stephenson says. “It comes from a 500- year tradition and I think that’s partly why people are so attached to it. And because it’s worn so much more widely in the UK than it is elsewhere, it’s become a real symbol of Britishness. It became particularly associated with the World Wars and 20th century change, so I think there is a huge feeling of nostalgia and that people place too much importance on school uniform.”

What do you think?

Do we even need school uniform at all?


Leave a Reply

dolphin26 · 2 years ago

Well, I think you should need them because imagine someone has better clothes than you, because they are richer, and they make fun of your clothes, so uniform is a good way of handling this. Just that uniform should be really cheap.

dolphin26 · 2 years ago

Yay! First to comment!

kitten_12 · 2 years ago

It’s hard because we should really wear school uniform but what about the people who can’t afford to buy school clothing ? In this case, we should be allowed to wear anything you want but with the stress of trying to look cool it’s hard.In my opinion we should wear school uniform but lower the prices.

g26017 · 2 years ago

Yes I think that we do need school uniform, as there is many reasons why it is useful, but the costs of our school uniform are huge - this really needs to change as the quality and the actual clothing aren’t even that good

lauren_123 · 2 years ago

I think we should stick with school uniforms as it makes people look the same. If everyone was to come in with different, fancy clothes everyday then it could be even more expensive for families and some kids might get picked on for not having the latest trainers or clothes.

aadhya_sha · 2 years ago

Children should wear school uniforms because Despite off being poor or rich everyone is in same color

aadhya_sha · 2 years ago


lovelymrj · 2 years ago

First to comment

candyapple · 2 years ago

Yeah we do. It stops bullying, because if we did where are own clothes, people would show off about how rich they are.

soniciscoo · 2 years ago

We spent over £50 on uniforms!

trixx · 2 years ago

I dislike my school uniform the blouse is see through our skirts have to be at the knee and as its a girls school we are only very recently been allowed to wear shorts. We have to wear white socks for PE. There is still an ‘armsrace’ in fashion in the form of expensive nike shoes tailoring skirts and makeup

roguelion · 2 years ago

I think you do not need a school uniform at all because children should be able to have the will to wear what they want.

ivansp2011 · 2 years ago

It is compulsory to wear school uniform because you might get lost on a school trip and no one will be able to find you.However, they are very expensive and sometimes very uncomfortable

trixx · 2 years ago

Uniform does not stop the obvious differences between wealthier and poorer people in schools people with more money get there uniform tailored and it is of a way better quality

rainshadow · 2 years ago

I think that we need school uniform but it should be cheaper and not require the school badge on or whatever, it should be something generic like a blue polo shirt for example that you can get from anywhere

duckduck21 · 2 years ago

I think that we should have school uniform but it shouldn’t be too expensive. Some schools around the country are now getting pupils to buy PE leggings and shorts with the school logo on and telling them off if they are wearing plain black leggings and shorts. This means that parents are having to spend lots more money on things that they already have.

pandagem · 2 years ago

I think when we wear our own clothes we can express who we are and we can also be a diverse community

z3yn333p · 2 years ago

People spend hundreds+ on school uniform its unacceptable my primary was non uniform and it was so fun · 2 years ago

We don't need school uniform, it's uncomfortable and it's excessive. You can't even fully stretch your arms out in front of above of you in a shirt! How could that ever help with learning?! Additionally, uniform makes it extremely hard for us to find our styles and develop into who we are. · 2 years ago


cloandhols · 2 years ago

No, I have two siblings so it cost a lot of money to buy uniform for three kids

coolcats · 2 years ago

I believe we do need school uniform because the parents will have to pay for their non-school uniform too and it will be worse because the child may be embarrassed of their own uniform. Uniform allows students to look smart, feel ready to learn and gel they belong. There should be a limit on how much they should cost, however.

stingray1 · 2 years ago

Yes because otherwise there might be people saying that they have better clothes than someone else.

stingray1 · 2 years ago

Uniform should be cheaper for high schools

rannie.j · 2 years ago

i dont think we need them as people cant always afford them and will get bullied for wearing the same top over and again

scarlet10 · 2 years ago

NO because its really not very climate friendly because your buying new clothes and shoes (that are very expensive) Pe kit as-well as uniform and when you grow out of your expensive clothes and buy more . If you wore your own clothes them you can pick clothes that FIT YOU and that are more comfy and you can wear them all year round and not be freezing in winter and boiling in summer.
a school could have a school colour like blue for example but it has to be a colour easy to get hold of

scarlet10 · 2 years ago

or we could just have a clip on badge to symbolise what school your from and if your in trouble people know where you come from but wear it in your own clothes

randomico · 2 years ago

People don’t bully completely on what you wear. If there was a school uniform, bullies would find something else to Yap about

first@news · 2 years ago

No , because in my school it costs £500 which is too expensive

max1234 · 2 years ago

Yes, because if it was within an emergency, and schools had to evacuate, then no one would know what school a pupil would be it.

max1234 · 2 years ago

Some people might be bullied depending on their clothes and school uniforms are the same.

nuggetwirl · 2 years ago

I think we shouldn't because it is too costly! Perhaps there should be strict dress code though but no need for uniform

allegrag · 2 years ago

I think we need them because when you wear your normal clothes you might not concentrate enough and the teachers might not know if your in their school.

beanroo100 · 2 years ago

People might make fun of you if you don't have the newest trend of clothes so I think we absolutely need them for children's happiness at their school.

anonymous8 · 2 years ago

I don't think you need school uniform because there is a cost-of-living crisis, making it more expensive. However, I strongly believe that you still need to look smart with ordinary clothes.

emppenguin · 2 years ago


maijun · 2 years ago

We don't need uniform but we do have to where clothes that are functionable. For example today is PE, so you can just where some shorts and maybe a T-shirt to school

bearbear88 · 2 years ago

Yes. We do need school uniform because if you go on a school trip or anything like that, you will easily be spotted and will make the possibility of you getting lost smaller. It is for your own safety although maybe there should be a rule where if you can't afford the uniform, you don't need it but it is not the school's fault if you get lost though it is if you were wearing the proper clothes.

potterwolf · 2 years ago

It’s hard. Because school put the uniform there so people don’t get made fun of if they are rich or poor, but school uniform is more expensive than our usual clothes. Maybe just have a dress code you have to follow. IDK. Do you agree?

kauaskar · 2 years ago

I think that school uniforms are not entirely necessary. Although they provide a level of discipline and order, children should be able to wear what they want. Plus, being able to wear what you want be a way to expressing yourself.

kb1. · 2 years ago

Why do we need to??????????????????

cosimaiw · 2 years ago

No it’s a waste of material that can be used for other things

lottielou · 1 year ago

Torn here

kb1. · 1 year ago

NO SCHOOL UNIFORM. In my school they have a non uniform day each week