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Teachers don't know what stress is

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exnihilo
909519.  Tue May 15, 2012 6:09 am Reply with quote

Uniforms are generally far far cheaper than 'street clothes', which is a boon to parents on limited income as their children cannot be expected to compete in the latest trainers stakes or what have you, and they promote a sense of collegiality. All my schools had uniforms to some degree even if it was latterly just smart trousers, white shirt and tie. I have to say that as a child with no fashion sense whatever not having to worry about that each morning took a great deal of stress out of being at school.

 
Arcane
909528.  Tue May 15, 2012 6:40 am Reply with quote

Private school uniforms here can be expensive; that said, having a teenage daughter who cannot make a fashion decision even with me nagging her the night before to GET YOUR CLOTHES ORGANISED NOW, I shudder at the thought of her possibly doing that five days a week. I can't say I've heard of a school in my neck of the woods, private or public, that doesn't have a compulsory school uniform.

One of the merits of her attending dance full time is that

a) It's black leotards and tights with or without black shorts with the dance school logo on four days a week (no shorts or skirts for ballet). The girls usually have their hair in a bun because they do a lot of ballet, but they can style it however they want. Practical in the heat as well as keeping it out of the way when doing all sorts of jumpy/rolly/flinging yourself around stuff. Another great thing out of the way for a teenage girl.

b) Leotards and tights are quite small; doesn't take up much room in the washing machine so that cuts down on washing. They do have to be washed often though but she has a few on rotation.

You can wear leotards until they fall apart; $40 upwards each as they are also embroidered. Tights at $20 a pair and they can shred in a few lessons if lots of floor work is being done. However, the "trend" is to see how shredded (not holes, that is not right) the tights can get before you're told to get a new pair (don't try that in a ballet class though!)

Ballet shoes can be from $30 (flat canvas) up to $150 (custom pointe shoes), then there's jazz, tap, cabaret/chorus, contemporary, hip hop shoes etc and that's BEFORE you get to eisteddfod group shoes and costume items, solo items, end of year costume items, other performance items like Christmas concerts and other performance groups... Pointe shoes, for advanced students or those like my daughter with bendy feet and high arches can be "broken" in a few lessons. Thankfully she has FINALLY found a different brand, not her favourite but they're doing the job well enough, where the shank doesn't break. I've been able to get a couple of pairs overseas via eBay for around $50 each, which is nearly half what they cost here. You also always have to have a pair or two of immaculate pointe shoes for performances/eisteddfods on standby. Sometimes a particular pair of shoes may be required for one routine only. When a second hand costume is $100....

My school uniform was hideous. Baby poo brown and dog poo brown. BROWN. Gaberdine. In a sub tropical climate. With fawn socks and brown school shoes. *shudder* The last "normal" school my daughter was at had quite a nice uniform; blue shirt and tartan style skirt and a broad brimmed formal hat. Black school shoes though, and they are practical but rather clunky.

Sorry, is this doffcocking? :\

 
filofax
909529.  Tue May 15, 2012 6:43 am Reply with quote

I am a great fan of school uniforms, although, like nearly everyone else I hated them at the time.

Having said that, Filoboy is EXTREMELY fashion conscious, and the only thing that gets him out of bed in the morning is knowing that he has to have time to plan his getup for the day, and the only thing that actually gets him to school is the thought of showing off his plumage to his peers. I don't approve, but whatever works at this stage is fine by me.

 
Efros
909530.  Tue May 15, 2012 6:44 am Reply with quote

The one item that always caused stress with school uniforms were the blazers, very expensive. My last school blazer was a Barathea and cost my mother the princely sum of 55 pounds back in 1975. I see that a lot of schools now don't include these in the uniform.

 
Jenny
909538.  Tue May 15, 2012 6:54 am Reply with quote

What is it about painters and decorators producing chemists? Purely coincidental and of no statistical significance I know, but your post gave me a little jolt there, Efros, in that my first husband was also a chemist who was the son of a painter and decorator. However, his dad actively didn't want him to go to university; he wanted him to join the business, which my husband didn't want to do. He went to university without any support or assistance from his dad, though his mum got a part-time job and sent him a fiver every now and then.

 
Arcane
909546.  Tue May 15, 2012 7:18 am Reply with quote

Efros wrote:
The one item that always caused stress with school uniforms were the blazers, very expensive. My last school blazer was a Barathea and cost my mother the princely sum of 55 pounds back in 1975. I see that a lot of schools now don't include these in the uniform.


55 pounds back then??? Good grief!! 55 pounds is not a small amount of money now, was it a weeks wages or close to back then?

 
Efros
909572.  Tue May 15, 2012 8:43 am Reply with quote

Yes, all the other parts of the uniform were relatively cheap but the blazer could only be bought from one retailer due to the embroidered school badge on the breast pocket, who made an eye watering profit.

 
suze
909611.  Tue May 15, 2012 11:13 am Reply with quote

On the uniform matter, a number of people have identified one of the major arguments against school uniform.

Quite a lot of schools do effectively create a monopoly - they specify the uniform, and then make it available either only from the school or only from one retail outlet. And as suggested, this does often lead to inflated prices being charged.

This is not a new phenomenon, but the level of price gouging does seem to have increased in the last decade or so. Governments of both flavours have noticed this and expressed disapproval, and then in 2006 the Office of Fair Trading got involved.

It threatened to prosecute schools who persisted with this practice, but has never once done so. There are several reasons for that. One of the key issues, not really addressed, has been to define the rules. Some have argued that uniform should be sold at cost, but opponents of this idea note that no other retailer sells at cost.

Others have argued that prices should not exceed those charged for comparable garments at low-end chain stores (Asda and Primark, those sorts of places) - but is a chain store garment comparable if it does not feature the school logo? (And those logos are themselves an issue. One school in Sussex was selling its school jumper for 17, which it claimed was cost. A local manufacturer offered to make identical garments for 9 without the logo or 11 with, but was flatly refused permission to use the logo. Meanwhile, the school declared that any pupil wearing a jumper without a logo would be sent home as improperly dressed.)

Then in 2007 the old government issued a circular which directed schools to make uniforms available at more than one outlet. Some schools have even complied with it, but there has been no enforcement action against those which have not.

 
Spud McLaren
909615.  Tue May 15, 2012 11:28 am Reply with quote

I remember my school blazers costing rather a lot. When I grew out of my first one, my mother bought a (rather cheaper) unembroidered blazer, cut the pocket off the old one, and sewed it onto the new one. This continued throughout my uniform-wearing years. No member of staff ever questioned why the blazer looked new but the badge didn't...

 
Moosh
909621.  Tue May 15, 2012 11:56 am Reply with quote

My school just sold the badges, which you could attach to the pocket of any black blazer, and school ties. Neither of which cost much.

The rest of the uniform was a white shirt, black trousers and black shoes. All of which could be picked up from anywhere.

Don't know why other schools can't do the same.

 
suze
909633.  Tue May 15, 2012 12:43 pm Reply with quote

They can of course, and plenty of schools do.

My school is, I fear, to some extent a culprit here. Our girls are expected to have a jacket with badge, a jumper with badge, together with "plain" shirts and skirts or trousers.

The shirts and skirts or trousers are not a problem any more than at Moosh's school - white shirts and charcoal grey skirts and trousers are readily available from a wide range of outlets.

The jackets and jumpers are another matter. School will in fact sell the jacket badge separately, but doesn't advertise the fact - we sell them fairly cheaply, but only to people who actually ask. Mind you, the jackets are in a colour which few of the girls would be likely to choose for their own wardrobes, and so even unbadged they might not be easy to find except in the nominated store.

Badged jackets and jumpers are sold only at one store. Worse, that store is not in the same town as the school; it's probably best that I don't go into the whys and wherefores of that right here.

Ties are not worn. One of the advantages of being a single sex school is that we don't have to make the girls wear ties just because we make the boys wear them. The girls do appreciate this, just as they appreciate being allowed to wear earrings (since we don't have any boys to forbid from wearing them).

And then, of course, there's sporting attire. We've gone all progressive, and our girls now wear shorts rather than hockey skirts, leotards, and what have you. (Even the representative hockey team plays in shorts, which apparently ruffled a few feathers at a couple of the independent schools they play against.)

 
djgordy
909642.  Tue May 15, 2012 1:01 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:

Badged jackets and jumpers are sold only at one store. Worse, that store is not in the same town as the school; it's probably best that I don't go into the whys and wherefores of that right here.


The person who owns the shop is a close relative of* the head teacher/one of the governers/secretary of state for edyukayshun.

*...or has some compromising photos of....

 
strawhat
909659.  Tue May 15, 2012 4:11 pm Reply with quote

My school uniform was a black or red polo shirt with a black or red jumper (which you didn't have to wear) black trousers or a skirt if you were a girl, with apparently black socks and black smart shoes. The rules were relax a little when I left, meaning totally black jeans and totally black trainers were allowed. But the rules tightened up after about two years of that. The shirts and jumpers where bought from the school direct and were expected to last the whole five years (I had some hand me downs that had previously done five years before I even got hold of them).
You could only dye your hair a natural colour, and boys and girls could have stud earings, nothing more. A minimum amount of jewelry and makeup was also allowed.
The PE kit was generic dark coloured tracksuit bottoms and shorts, plain suitable trainers, a white t-shirt or polo shirt and a dark, plain, jumper or tracksuit top for when it was cold.

Compared to either the school my boyf went to, or where I worked last year, where every aspect of the uniform, save the trousers and shirt, where bought from either the school or the associated shop. I personally found this really weird.

 
suze
909664.  Tue May 15, 2012 4:59 pm Reply with quote

djgordy wrote:
The person who owns the shop is a close relative of one of the governors.


Damnit all, djg. You are in fact entirely right.


strawhat wrote:
totally black jeans and totally black trainers were allowed.


That's one thing that my school doesn't permit. Sixth form girls are allowed to wear jeans, although surprisingly few choose to do so, but not trainers; in the lower years, neither is allowed.

strawhat wrote:
You could only dye your hair a natural colour, and boys and girls could have stud earings, nothing more. A minimum amount of jewelry and makeup was also allowed.


Now that's interesting. As a girls' school we don't have to worry about making the rules the same for boys and girls, but most of the mixed schools hereabouts don't allow earrings at all. (On the basis that if girls are allowed to wear them then boys have to be, and they don't want boys wearing them. I'm aware of one school which allows boys to wear earrings so long as they wear one in each ear as girls normally do.)

Earrings were also the subject of the only real debate about dress that ever took place when I was in high school in Vancouver. A couple of boys took to wearing one, and one or two teachers didn't approve - but the principal said that it was OK and a few more boys started wearing them thereafter.

 
strawhat
909665.  Tue May 15, 2012 5:14 pm Reply with quote

I think they felt they couldn't stop it, so took the least amount of damage they could stand. You couldn't have more than one earring per ear either. And girls could get away with nose studs as well.

My school had only just stopped having no uniform, about 10 years before, which they had started when my Mum went there. When she started it was total full uniform, maroon blazer, green skirt/trousers, and a green, maroon and yellow tie. And green gym knickers, I can vividly recall my mother talking about them. At the time it was a grammar school, but in the socialist republic of South Yorkshire during the 70's.

 

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