Most public and private schools in Australia continue to stick to school uniform supply policies, even though many parents are beginning to doubt whether it helps their children in any way.
Many argue that it simply adds to school expenses that some may not be able to afford, despite companies like PermAPleat.com.au providing affordable options.
Others focus on the idea that children should be able to express their personality in the way they dress. However, school uniforms actually provide a range of benefits to school children that’s more than practicality of wear.
Many children experience problems with fitting in when they go to school. Some find it more of a challenge than others do, but generally, they just want to feel that they belong.
Young children feel anxious when they first enter a classroom because they are in an unfamiliar territory. They learn to adjust and make friends, but not all at once. A school uniform makes them easily identifiable as part of a certain group and that helps feel more comfortable.
The school uniform, however, is usually a black and white concept. There are very few ifs, ands, or buts about it. This gives children a sense of sameness and predictability that they need to feel secure. It gives them structure with which to pattern their behaviour to reflect the values of the school.
School uniforms levels the playing field. Everybody wears the same thing. It does not matter how much their parents make, or if they come from a privileged backgrounds.
Students of all social and economic classes can engage as equals, notable only for what they do as themselves. It encourages students to rely on their personal abilities and will to succeed, instead of their name or backgrounds.
School uniforms may seem frivolous and silly, with no other purpose but to force students to be like everybody else. However, children need to feel secure and comfortable to develop a healthy outlook in life. Only then can they express themselves in a positive and constructive way.