School uniforms are nowadays a very controversial and well-debated issue
although it is still widespread, mostly in English speaking countries.
England has a long tradition of school uniforms and is the country where
mandatory uniforms are most frequently worn, mostly in elementary and secondary
schools. Unexpectedly, school uniforms were traditionally worn by non privileged
students in charity schools, and were only later introduced in public schools.
A typical uniform consist of dark pants or shorts for boys, skirt for girls,
and a shirt or a blouse. A blazer and a school tie might also belong to the
Swedish schools does not have an uniform
requirement and school uniforms are unknown to most Swedish children. I will identify and discuss the most common arguments both in favour for, and against, school uniforms. Although students can buy and wear a jumper or T-shirt with the school logo, it is not very common. They can also help the school to create a feeling of group identity and instil school spirit among students. The most common argument in favour of school uniforms seem to be regarding discipline; that school uniforms encourage the students to focus on schoolwork rather than on socialising or fashion related competition, and might therefore be helpful in improving the discipline and the behaviour, as well as the academic results. Another very frequent group of arguments is the economy related ones. That in turn provide reasons for students to express their individuality in other ways, such as intelligence or humour. From the proponents point of view, a school uniform provides several economical advantages. This frequent problem leads us into the arguments used by proponents and opponents of the school uniform. If you don't follow the latest trends you might be treated as hopelessly out of fashion. School uniforms will also prevent students from wearing inappropriate clothing items to school, for example mini skirts. This demand for expensive brand clothes puts, naturally, a large economical pressure on the parents. However, in many Swedish schools the "unofficial" dress code amongst students is very hard. Another conceivable argument is that by denying students to wear gang related symbols or badges, school uniforms can be used as a tool to reduce gangs.