Wearing the wrong school uniform can ruin your education!

Who would have thought that wearing the wrong school uniform can actually ruin your education?

This isn’t something I was aware of until I read this article about how an 11 year old boy was sent out of his lesson after a teacher spotted that the boy had reflective strips on the back of his footwear.

Apparently the reflective strips on the boys shoes interfere with his brain resulting in an inability to concentrate and learn. It also means that the boy is unable to function correctly.

Who knew?

Have you detected my sarcasm yet?

After reading this article online, I realise that the boy in question possibly has some behavioural issues so this may have contributed toward him being asked to leave the classroom, but it does lead me onto thinking about how trivial school uniform policies are and actually about how petty some teachers are about enforcing this policy.

Now I understand the importance of a school uniform policy. I really do, but I think there has to be some flexibility with it too and more importantly some common sense on behalf of the teachers and school who help to enforce these policies.

School uniforms are important for many reasons. It means that every child dresses the same. Can you imagine if Elizabeth who lives in that big mansion on the hill rocked up to school in her latest designer gear and poor Frieda turned up in her Primark best? Kids can be cruel and it would inevitably lead to her being bullying for her choice of outfit. For this reason school uniforms are important.

They’re also important because it helps to identify the children who attend that school. Whether that be in school or when out on a school trip. It makes it a lot easier for teachers to see who is with them, and who isn’t.

It’s also said that a school uniform is a badge of pride. I’m not sure about that one, but of course we all want our children to roll up to school looking smart and presentable, and there’s no question that a school uniform helps with this.

In some ways, I guess it may even help children when they go onto get jobs as they’ll possibly need to wear a uniform for that as well.


…is it really necessary to send children home if they have reflective strips on their shoes, velcro instead of laces, skirts that aren’t below the knee and trousers that aren’t pressed down the middle?

Of course if a girl wears a skirt that’s just plain indecent, then I’m all for sending them home, but a skirt that sits just above the knee? Personally I don’t see the issue and I’m pretty sure that the length of her skirt won’t affect her education. Maybe I’m wrong! Show me the research to prove me wrong!

Some the comments on this article say:

How about you just stick to the rules?

Respect the uniform rules!

The mother needs to go to school to be taught what rules are!

Dear me! Seriously people? With everything going on in the world? Who cares if his shoes have reflective strips on? Surely they’ll be safer for when he walks home in the dark with his mum so he’s more visible?

They look like shoes with velcro to me, but some say they’re trainers. Who cares? They’re black!

If he went to school sporting a punk rock hoody then I would agree with the teachers that he’d need to wear his school jumper, but this? It just takes the biscuit if you ask me!

What do you think?

46 thoughts on “Wearing the wrong school uniform can ruin your education!

  1. I think some of the rules about uniform are too strict…I think the reflective strips on shoes are a good idea. Especially at this time of year.
    We are lucky though at my teen’s school they have rules but let them get bent a little….Phew!

  2. Some teachers take things too far, agreed. Some are quite lax. The two in the same school can confuse issues. It’s when the school go down the road of there are no exceptions that things get quite draconian. There are, of course, some parents who will persistently break uniform rules, which causes schools to tighten those rules. It’s a tough one. But in this instance I fully agree with you.

  3. I’m not getting the equality thing, that it stops his from poorer backgrounds getting bullied if they don’t have fancy clothing. Uniforms can be expensive and many families struggle to afford them. I used to hate my uniform and used to modify it as much as i could. Never used to wear proper shoes, always trainers and i ditched my school trousers for black jogging pants. No one used to pay attention to the stupid black only coat rule either x

  4. I’m a great believer in school uniforms. For all your reasons above and it stops rows at home every morning over what to wear but I agree about the expense. My school uniform was only available at one outlet and it was really expensive. Although my permanent pleated skirt lasted the 5 years I attended. I can’t see that reflectors are against the rules, they are a safety feature and I also think that as long as the footwear is sensible and black that should be good enough

  5. The school we hope the grem to go to is horrific apparently and parents will be chastised in the playground if the uniform policy isn’t adhered to. I found it tough as was a bit of a rebel at school with make up and short skirts. I can see some need for it but at the same time education is the most important. Great post and thanks for sharing with #bestandworst x

  6. I’m definitely not pro-uniform. I never had to wear a uniform to school, so I, of course, think this is completely extreme. I balk at the new school rules that kids (high schoolers, really) aren’t allowed to come to school with dyed hair. What is the problem if their parents think it’s okay? It all seems a bit silly to me, and I definitely don’t think kids should be sent home for it. There are far worse things they could be doing at school that are more deserving of attention. #ThatFridayLinky

  7. I think it’s hard because where do you draw the line? These things like you say have no impact on the child’s ability to learn, it’s more about conforming and obedience – it a tough one 😕. #ThatFridayLinky

  8. I agree. I’ve always been very pro-uniform and always tried to look as smart and presentable as possible in my old line of work. Shirt, tie etc but I think we need to find a balance in schools where kids can express themselves within reason. #ThatFridayLinky

  9. I’d place it pretty low on the list of offences. I’m a fan of a good school uniform, but I’m not fond of militant policing.

    I certainly don’t believe a child should miss out any of their learning time because of their choice of footwear. #ThatFridayLinky

  10. It’s an interesting debate – when I was a teenager I was so well behaved at school, tried my hardest in lessons etc., but would roll my skirt up and sometimes have my shirt untucked. I just didn’t see how that affected my education; I could learn with my shirt tucked in or out. But as an adult and parent myself I do see the need for school uniforms being smart. Though I know that some rules do take things too far. At my secondary school the boys weren’t allowed long hair, so my mum always wanted my brothers to grow their hair long just so she could argue against the rule. Why weren’t boys allowed long hair when girls were? Equality is key. #ThatFridayLinky

    Helen x


  11. Back in the day when I was at school (an increasingly long, long time ago 🙁 ) we had a beautiful BROWN uniform. There wasn’t a lot you could buy that was fashionable and brown during the late 90s. But we all still managed to roll our skirts up, and wear heels that weren’t regulation 2cm. Yeah we all got caught one time or another but we had a series of warning – one, come back tomorrow with the proper uniform, two, we’re writing to your parents, three, detention… none of which impacted our education. I attended an all girls grammar school with 100% A*-C in GCSEs. And most of us pushed the uniform rules to their limits and beyond. Schools seems to want to create robots these days – where’s the option of self expression? We’re all individuals, after all! I’m pro-uniform, anti-ridiculous rules that affect education. #thatfridaylinky

  12. I actually think that the world has gone mad when I read articles like this. As long as he didn’t rock up in bright white Nikes, what’s the problem? Some parents can’t afford expensive uniforms, so maybe they buy a black shoe that looks a little more like a trainer, or a jumper that isn’t the exact shade of the “official” ones, but if it’s still red, it’s red. It’s just crazy! My sons school is super strict on uniform and I admit it does look lovely seeing them all lined up together sporting the same uniform, but it also looks a little robotic! #thatfridaylinky

  13. Our school uniform is pretty good we have a branded sweatshirt for winter and polo shirt in the summer then parents can buy trousers, shirts etc as needed. They are fair but we know what is expected. #thatfridaylinky

  14. My son’s school was helpful when he started in navy shoes and I couldn’t afford new ones until he’d outgrown them. They said it was fine for the first half term. Surely it’s more important that shoes fit and are comfortable…? #ThatFridayLinky

  15. To a certain degree I agree with school uniform but this just seems utterly ridiculous. We’ve gone too far with rules etc. It’s absurd and if I was that boy’s mother I’d probably be straight up the school telling them that! #thatfridaylinky

  16. I’m sorry, but that shoe rule makes perfect sense to me. Those reflective strips are just going to reflect all the education away from the poor boy. He might as well not even be in class!

  17. I never understood the notion of school uniforms. Yes, some kids are always going to have nicer clothes than others, but that’s kind of a part of life. isn’t it? The only benefit I can really see is not having to fight with my kid every morning about what she is going to wear #bestandworst

  18. I’m all for uniforms but jeez the world of schooling has gone mad!! My little boy brought home a letter today about how important his p.e uniform was and that I had not sent him with it this week!? errrrrr excuse me miss yes I did!! The boy said it wasn’t on his peg so he was made to do it in the lost property kits they have spare! guess what turned up on his peg an hour later! They are always loosing uniform and this is the reason my hubby refuses to buy the £9 school jumpers when he can buy a pack of two for £4.50 from our supermarket.


  19. There was a school near me where the new head sent HALF the school home for wrong uniform! Yes some were needed, but most were minor minor things!
    I had aheadteacher who couldn’t have cared less about uniform! We all looked a bit scruffy with many variations of the uniform, but it was a good school and got good exam results! Obviously our brains managed to cope!

  20. I’m personally a bit funny about the strictness of some uniform dress codes. I don’t like it when teens are forced to NOT dye their hair or wear accessories or the boys aren’t allowed to have long hair… it makes them all exactly the same when a lot of parents are trying to teach them it’s good to be their own individual selves. And I find it pretty important that teens express themselves, because when a lot of people get to adulthood they just stop doing that altogether 🙁

    I think it was just silly to send this boy home for having reflective tape, though. It’s a safety feature! And poo on those commenters!


  21. I totally agree with you! I remember having my earrings taken away from me at school, yet further down the corridor a child was being bullied and none of the staff did anything! I agree uniform is important but they need to stop being so petty about little things #ThatFridayLinky

  22. Oh I so am with you on this, there has got to be a degree of flexibilty to the rules but in a sensible limit if you know what I mean? Thanks for hosting Emily 🙂 #ThatFridayLinky

  23. I disagree about school uniforms putting a stop to discrimination against poor families. They are expensive! And kids want to bring their individuality to their look so they will add to and modify a uniform. Those little touches will show how much money their parents are willing to spend on them. Most kids just resent their uniforms because they feel that it stifles their ability to express themselves. That’s been my experience anyway. #ThatFridayLinky

  24. I attended a high school that was non uniform so never wore a uniform to school at all. You are totally right in your comments as it made the amount of disposable income that the parents had immediately transparent and every kid was judged for what clothes they wore. I still don’t understand why they chose to implement a non uniform policy it made no sense to me even as a kid. Having said that this example is too strict and I think sending any child home for something that minor is counter productive and is not going to benefit anyone.

  25. As with all these things, there needs to be a sensible balance. However, if the rules and expectations are clearly communicated at some point, someone has to enforce them – although it doesn’t seem reasonable to exclude a child for a couple of reflective stripes. #ThatFridayLinky

  26. Over half of my formative years were spent in France, which is uniform free, and there were times that school was stressful because I didn’t have the latest trainers or the correct brand of Hoody, however it wasn’t awful and the freedom to wear what you liked (within reasonable limits) didn’t result in a scruffy school, or affect learning.

    Fast forward 15 years, the teen is now in high school in the U.K. (She also spent a few years in France) at the beginning of the summer holidays, the teen had her hair dip dyed purple with a semi permanent dye. By the time she went back to school it hadn’t entirely washed out so she wore her hair in a bun. After a PE session her bun came loose and she was immediately sent to isolation for being “a distraction to learning” the first I knew was when she came home in tears. I rang the school asking for an explanation as to why she wasn’t just allowed to put her hair back in a bun (we were 3 weeks in to the school term at this point) to be told that unless the purple was cut out of her hair, or her hair dyed back to blonde at the ends, then she would be permanently excluded.

    We did neither. She continued to wear her hair in a bun, and the purple eventually washed out. However, I will say that the one day in exclusion (along with teachers touching her hair!) has had far more of an impact on her learning than it has on any of her classmates seeing a flash of purple hair during PE.
    The irony is, it’s a performing arts school, and individuality is encouraged. In 6th form there are students with bright pink hair wearing chains and facial piercings that share the same facilities as the other students but because Claire is year 10 she wasn’t allowed a bit of purple in her tips! #thatfridaylinky

  27. I find the arbitrary blind following of rules to be very annoying. People seem to do it more and more these days instead of thinking about the reason behind the rule and how that has been effected by the offense.

    My eldest goes to school this year and I’m sure I’ll struggle with some of the comments and rules that are thrown his way.

  28. I remember when I was in school we had to take off any ‘non uniform’ items and leave them in a box in the heads office and collect them at the end of the day… If they weren’t removable or would leave us shoeless, for example, we probably would be sent home as you say. Bad really. As yes you are quite right it doesn’t affect how we learn! I think that it is important though in keeping schools kids on the same level… if everyone wore their own clothes the lines of separation between children would be expanded and it would result in far higher level;s of bullying. #thatfridaylinky

  29. My little brothers school had a no brand names policy with regards to coats and shoes. To reinforce it they wore plimsoles around the school and had book bags rather than taking normal bags to school. It helped those who were fortunate enough to be able to afford designer to those who couldnt all mix together and i suppose reinforce the fact that without material items we’re all the same and preventing bullying.
    I do think those who send kids home due to their skirts being an inch too short or their hair is shaved to much are ridiculous! The kids are missing out on an education due to miniscule rules. I get that they’re trying to teach the meaning of rules etc but when putting the two together; id much rather a scruffy looking bright kid than a scruff who missed out! #thatfridaylinky

  30. My daughters school is quiet relaxed which is how I like it. I’m a relaxed person and go to work in jeans every day. I can’t see how a uniform being so exact makes a blind bit of difference. #thatfridaylinky

  31. I’ve never had to wear a school uniform and my daughter is not yet school age. That being said, I don’t really see why something that seems so insignificant, like reflective stripes on the child’s shoes, would get him sent home? That seems a little too strict, to me. Sure, both the parents and the students should respect the school rules, but maybe a warning would have been enough? #ThatFridayLinky

  32. I totally agree with you 100%. When I was at high school I got sent home a lot through ‘not wearing correct uniform’. I had the ‘wrong’ black socks on or I had the ‘wrong’ tights on as they weren’t thick enough! The schools definitely go too far in my opinion and the power goes to their heads for sure.

    Yes we all have rules to follow and I am all for children following the rules at school because it sets them up for adulthood and the world of work but they go too far. Not allowed certain hairstyles etc how the hell are children meant to express their individuality, they want all children to perform like robots and all look the same – that is not the way the world works at all!

    Great post! #thatfridaylinky

  33. You would think that reflective strips on shoes were simply safety conscious?? Some rules on uniform are waaaay too strict and I think some teachers get a little precious about them. I do agree with uniforms in schools and think they are great for promoting equality and awareness etc. But yeah, some teachers/parents need to take a chill pill. #thatfridaylinky

  34. I know exactly what you mean, it’s all getting ridiculous! As long as the children are smart and actually learning them I really don’t see what the issue is #ThatFridayLinky

  35. They just take things too far sometimes. It never used to be that strict when I was at school and it was fine then. I don’t see why they have to take it so far these days. #thatfridaylinky

  36. Couldn’t agree more – for gods sake haven’t we all got enough going on without worrying about shoes? When my son started school in September I was fretting about him wearing plain grey socks but as the months have gone by I just don’t care anymore. More often than not he’s wearing superhero socks or bright coloured ones because thats what he likes and I don’t see it affecting his learning!

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