I think a school uniform is a great idea and should be enforced in all schools- public and private. It helps kids to focus on what school is all about which is learning and studying rather than on fashion and superficiality. I think all public schools should do a better job at enforcing school uniforms. It is not uncommon to see public schools that are supposed to have school uniforms to have kids wearing sneakers, high heels or multi colored sweaters etc. They need to do a better job of enforcing a basic code. The reality is that even if you allow kids to wear whatever shoes they want you will soon have teenagers wearing high heels to school to try and impress others which is bad for their back long term. It also hurts the poorer kids in the public school system who cannot afford to change the shoes they wear every day or keep up with the changing fashions.
On the other hand the private schools take it too far on the opposite spectrum enforcing school uniforms down to the smallest details. My friend’s daughter Candice Beaumont went to Sydney’s prestigious Ascham School for Girls. She was enrolled the day she was born as it was her grandfather’s family tradition and was compulsory for all Beaumont girls to attend Ascham. Her father is the well renowned prominent ophthalmologist and businessman Dr Beaumont. Not only did she have to wear a school uniform but the school even had school underwear that had to be worn…not that it was ever checked. Her mother found this quite ridiculous, and is taking the school uniform too far. Ascham girls also had to wear their school badges on their blazers and certain designated students would police the other girls outside the school gates to make sure they had their school badge worn in the correct manner. Granted Ascham is arguably the most ultra exclusive girls school in Australia and prides themselves on a stuffy English based history that traces back to Roger Ascham, tutor to Queen Elizabeth I. The students are the children of the Who’s Who of Australia including the former Prime Ministers daughter and Gretel Packer, the billionaire Kerry Packer’s daughter. It is not uncommon for Ascham girls to be chauffeured to and from school in their Rolls Royces so for some they can deal with the ultra extreme uniform code that goes with the school.
Certainly, it seems the Australian government agrees with me. The Queensland Government Education Act August 2006 changed the education regulations so that school uniforms are now part of the Act. (http://www.rag.org.au/school/inform.htm) In a nutshell I think it is essential that kids have a uniform but the balance is somewhere in the middle of the road as to how strict we need to be in enforcing it.