"Once the preserve of secondary, private or religious schools, primary schools are increasingly using uniforms to mask the disparity between social classes at primary level."
The idea that schools are using uniforms to mask economic disparities is pretty damn awful. It recalls a recent conversation I had with a neighbour. My daughter attends a non-uniform wearing secondary school and the neighbour remarked upon it. "[Uniforms] are a great leveller though, " she said. Here's the thing. I don't send my children to school to be levelled. I send them to school to hopefully learn useful things and above all, to think.
But addressing the issue from a practical point of view, clothes have become cheaper and cheaper.
"....a core reason for many primary schools making the switch was to remove the distinction between rich kids and poor kids, which could be a distraction from children's learning. "It is distracting to see other kids with Nike shoes and changing clothes every day and all these lovely things they have, and you coming in wearing the same pants two or three days. Children can notice those things."
With the advent of recycled clothing nobody needs to wear the same pants two or three days (in any case, do you ever wear the same pair of jeans two or three days? I do). A parent with any nous can pick up good , even branded (if you care) clothes and shoes for next to nothing. Just like you can give your kids breakfast for next to nothing. What is lacking is some effort and imagination. Slapping them all in uniforms might just compound those particular short-comings.
I mean what is so appealing about all looking the same? Well, actually, they don't all look the same. Fat is still fat, short is still short and uniforms amplify physical differences.
Whereas allowed to dress how they want, kids will quickly learn what clothes mean to them. Do they dress for comfort, to conform, to stand apart, to suit their activities and environment, to maximise their best attributes? It gets them thinking. But no. Instead schools opt for this easy, literal dumbing-down of dress sense and, worse, individualism.
Hell. Why don't we pass a law to make uniform wearing compulsory for life if it's such a great thing?