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Published: 31 July 2009
Fashion parades, uniforms and snobbery in education

• I TOOK my daughter when she first started in the Holland Park School just prior to pre-uniform days and, without uniform, it resembled a fashion parade and on checking school results it was a borderline failing school.
Colin Hall, the newly appointed headteacher at that time decided to weed out teachers that were not up to the job and get back to the basics of bringing this school back up to very good achievement standards and introducing the uniform and take away all this nonsense who had the best bling, trainers etcetera.
Uniforms do have a part to play in school life and identify the pupil with the school and its ethos. You can have all the individuality after school hours you wish but pupils are there to learn and achieve to the best of their ability.
My daughter attended until 2008 into sixth-form and now she is at university studying philosophy, ethics and religion.
Some of the ex-public school pupils there do not believe that she came from a state school, there is such snobbery from the private to the state schools it is unbelievable and, of course, this makes it difficult for students to mix with their peers from the different sectors.
We know if is wrong, but it is a reality of school and university life.
We can go on about the semantics of uniforms interminably.
I think a school uniform is a good thing. Others disagree, but why do all the private schools in Kensington and Chelsea have uniforms from the well-off parents and don’t have a problem?
Don’t go for the lowest common denominator.
name and address supplied, W11

• EXPRESSING individuality or freedom of choice depends often as not upon one’s bank balance.
A system which allows schoolchildren to dress as they please is surely a recipe for disaster since the more affluent parents will kit out their children in the latest fashions which will render the less affluent pupils at a distinct disadvantage not to mention a feeling of jealousy and inadequacy among these children. A uniform, however boring, does sustain a culture of equality among school pupils.
In my school days, coming to school in a state of “undress” would incur drastic penalties.
I WALKER, Dalgarno Gardens, W10

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