The Pros and Cons of School Uniforms

In England, school uniforms are a normal part of education from around the ages of 5 to 16 (that’s from the beginning of primary school to the end of secondary school). I personally had to wear a uniform to school every day during that time of my life.

Japan also requires that students wear a school uniform if they go to junior high or high school, as well as many private elementary schools. However, the rules and appearance of English school uniforms and Japanese school uniforms are quite different. For example, I think English schoolgirls usually have the option of wearing trousers instead of skirts if they want to.

In some places, though, school uniforms aren’t really a thing. Take the US for instance. If you’ve seen American movies based in schools you’ve probably seen that the students aren’t wearing uniforms most of the time.

There are definitely both good points and bad points to school uniforms, and opinions on them vary from individual to individual.

When I was at school, I think the general feeling was that people didn’t like school uniforms. There were days called mufti days. On mufti days, students were allowed to come to school in casual clothing, which was usually appreciated by the students because they were so rare. On mufti days even the staff could come to work in casual clothing.

People often like the idea of wearing whatever clothes they want to school because of two main reasons. One is that casual clothes are often more comfortable than wearing shirts, ties, and school shoes. The other is that by dressing however you want, you’re free to express your personal style through your clothing.

Common counter arguments to students wearing whatever clothes they want are… One, that school uniforms can allow children and teenagers to get used to wearing uniforms like they often have to at work, and two, that by all students wearing the same clothes, it eliminates a potential form of discrimination.

This second point is particularly interesting, I think. The idea is that if everyone wears the same uniform, students cannot make fun of other students because their clothes are from cheap brands or are unfashionable or something like that. Personally, I do get how these things could result in discrimination and bullying, but to be honest, bullies will often just find some other reason to pick on others even if they’re wearing the same clothes. Bullying can happen because of personality, sexuality, hairstyle, and so many other things.

An additional pro of school uniforms that I think does hold some merit is that the uniform represents the school’s unity and identity. I think it can be easier to view your school as one big team if you’re all wearing the same uniform.

There are definitely lots of pros and cons of school uniforms. As for me, I do see the benefits of wearing them and also the benefits of not wearing them, so at the moment I don’t strongly lean either way.


be a thing (phrase) – to be something that exists or to be a well-known or popular phenomenon
potential (adjective) – could exist in a certain situation
make fun (phrase) – to tease; to joke about someone in an unkind way
lean (verb) – to support one side of a position, argument or opinion to a stronger degree than the other