More schools opt for formal uniforms

A recent study carried out by Trutex, using data from The Department of Education's Cost of School Uniform report has found students get smarter as schools opt for formal uniforms.

The study found that more schools are switching to smarter blazers and ties and dropping the casual sweatshirt and sweater look. Three in four of the 3800 secondary schools in the UK now adopt a blazer as part of their uniform along with four in five of the 2100 academies.

The Department of Education figures back up the trend revealed by Trutex and report an upsurge of 40% in the past ten years in the number of schools requiring pupils to dress in a more formal manner. Figures show that nearly all secondary schools, 99%, demand a uniform along with a school logo and 80% of primary schools now have a standard dress code.

While blazers, shirts and ties are more popular, changing fashions has meant the wearing of hats is on the decline with fewer than 10 per cent of schools insisting on a hat. Short trousers are becoming less popular at primary level with more than three in five schools preferring long trousers and the pinafore dress is falling out of favour, with fewer than one in five schools requiring girls to have pinafore dresses and these are mainly found at primary level.

One third of parents said their child’s uniform had changed during the time they had been at primary or secondary school. 50% of them said the change had been minor while the other 50% said they had needed to purchase several items of new clothing because of major changes to the school’s look.

The study carried out for leading schoolwear supplier Trutex reveals ties are worn at 85% of academies. Ties are also becoming more popular at junior level with 20 per cent of primary schools requiring pupils to have branded neckwear. PE kit is also now required in almost every school.

Over three in four parents said they recognised the value of having a school uniform and thought them good value for money, the study found.

The growth of schools having a smart blazer, shirt and tie comes as head teachers look to use a standard uniform as a way of instilling pride in their school. Education research shows that results improve with a strictly enforced uniform policy.

Several schools around the country also report that pupils had requested changes in their dress.

Matthew Easter, managing director of Trutex said: "There has definitely been an increase in recent years for schools to adopt a more formal look, especially among new style academies who want to stand out and reinforce their identity and that can mean having students looking smart and well disciplined.

“A few years ago we were seeing a lot more polo shirts and sweatshirts but that had definitely changed. Having a dress code acts as a social leveller and makes it easier for children to integrate with each other. It also improves the image of the school outside the school gate.”

Research for Trutex also shows that wearing a school uniform helps reduce bullying and contributes to a more focused and happier classroom.

You can see the findings from our study as reported in the Daily Mail here