Opinion: "School uniforms are harming our kids and need to go."

School uniforms are a ridiculously out-dated idea and I really want to see them scrapped.

They’re a huge expense for families, often marked up significantly under the guise of ‘fundraising’ for parent committees at schools, and they’re also ugly and uncomfortable.

Kids should be able to wear their own clothes to school, clothes that reflect their individual personalities and that are comfortable.

Don’t you think it’s a problem that from the moment our children begin primary school they are taught to dress the same, act the same, think the same and learn the same things? There’s absolutely no room for individual personalities, expression and thoughts.

Even hair styles are restricted at primary and secondary schools, which is just outrageous.

To me, school uniforms (and all rules governing a student’s appearance) represent everything that is wrong with our current education system.

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And don’t even get me started on the fact girls are still meant to wear tunics and skirts while boys get to wear shorts and trousers. Talk about out-dated.


My daughter spent most of Kindy making sure she didn’t accidentally flash her undies to her new classmates and by the time I managed to find “bloomers” for her to wear under her school uniform, the psychological damage had been done.

By the way, when did bloomers become so hard to locate? And, if it saves school girls flashing their undies, why aren’t bloomers part of the school uniform? Children don’t have a choice but to sit on the floor during class, so at least provide them with a school uniform that covers their underwear.

But no, that would be too logical. That would make too much sense.

'And don't even get me started on how girls still have to wear tunics and skirts. Talk about out-dated.' Image: iStock

Plus, I don't want school uniforms updated or changed. I want them gone. My children should be able to wear whatever they like to school, within reason. Something similar to RSL clothing rules would work where singlet tops and thongs are banned. But every other item of clothing is accepted.

There isn't one argument in defense of school uniforms that I feel has enough validity to see them continue as a requirement in schools.

'School uniforms level the playing field.'

The playing field is NEVER level when it comes to school children. Kids will always define themselves in comparison to others and if they don't have clothes with which to compare themselves they use lunch boxes, brands of stationary and how often they get lunch orders.

'They make socio-economic differences less obvious.'

School uniforms and shoes cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars a year, money that could be better spent buying proper clothes for kids they can wear all the time. Plus, schools mark them up, reselling second hand items instead of gifting them to disadvantaged families and making a lot of money from them.

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'You won't run out of things to wear to school.'

Yes but that doesn't prepare kids for real life. I remember the shock of not having enough clothes to wear when I finished high school and had to BEG my mum for money for clothes. I had two outfits, and desperately needed clothes to wear. If I'd been wearing normal clothes all along, I would have been all set.


'Uniforms make it faster and easier to get dressed in the morning.'

Once again, not a good prep for real life and nothing that getting your clothes out the night before won't fix.

'You can still express yourself while wearing a uniform.'

Sure you can half untuck your shirt or sneakily wear a great necklace, maybe even come up with some cool hair styles but most schools with uniform policies have hair and accessory policies as well.

School uniforms have got to go. They've been around for so long that we rarely bother to question their existence and how they affect our kids.

Lots of countries don't require their children to wear school uniforms - America, Switzerland are just a few - and their students perform just like students from schools that require uniforms.

It's 2017. Let's get rid of school uniforms already and give our children every possible opportunity to express themselves and explore their identities.

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