New research shows wearing a school uniform improves behaviour and prevents bullying

Research commissioned by Trutex as part of its anti-bullying campaign has shown that wearing a school uniform helps reduce bullying and improves pupils’ behaviour.

The research, the first of its kind in the UK, asked 1,318 teachers, parents and pupils about their attitudes to school uniforms.

The results proved that teachers in particular overwhelmingly believe that a smart uniform makes children better behaved and contributes to a happier and more focused classroom.

The study found that:

  • 89% of teachers believe school uniforms play an active role in reducing bullying.
  • 95% of teachers say uniforms help students to fit in.
  • 94% of teachers believe parents and the local community and even potential students look with pride on a school where pupils wear uniforms.
  • 66% of parents think wearing a school uniform puts students on a level playing field and makes their life easier.
  • 61% of mothers believe wearing a school uniform counteracts bullying in school, with only 11% disagreeing.
  • 68% of mothers believe uniforms reduce the pressure on their children to wear the latest fashion, which can be a factor in bullying.
  • 59% of children aged between 6 and 15 prefer to wear their own clothes to school.
  • 46% admit a uniform does reduce bullying.
  • 68% reckon wearing a uniform helps them to fit in at school.
  • 36% of 15-year-olds say they would be worried if a school uniform policy was abolished.
  • 47% of children feel that uniforms are uncomfortable to wear.
  • 53% say that a uniform doesn’t allow them to express their personality.

The report says that while schools are not legally bound to have a uniform policy the Department of Education states they play a valuable role in contributing to the ethos of a school and setting an appropriate tone.

It found that schools with strict uniform rules report that potential bullies find it harder to identify targets which are historically children who do not quite fit in. A standard dress makes for a level playing field and removed pressure on children to wear the latest fashions or designer labels which can highlight inequalities between students who come from different family backgrounds.

Matthew Easter, managing director Trutex said: “The research, a first in the UK, gives a very clear indication from parents and teachers that wearing a school uniform can help reduce the potential for bullying.

“Unsurprisingly we see that many children aren’t all that keen however even they recognise that wearing a uniform helps them fit in.”

Dr Helen Wight, international educationalist, said: “All children are fundamentally equal, but what they wear often creates barriers between them. When they wear the same clothes, they are the same, with the same potential and the same opportunities. School uniform is one of the greatest levellers in school, and one of the greatest boosts to social mobility.”

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