School Uniforms

School uniform or school uniforms is a practice which dates to the 16th century in the United Kingdom. It is believed that the Christ Hospital School in London in 1552 was the first school to use a school uniform. The earliest documented proof of institutionalised use of a standard academic dress dates back to 1222 when the then Archbishop of Canterbury ordered the wearing of the cappa clausa about 800 years ago.

The practice of having school uniform has been adopted by other countries, and is now common in many parts of the world. Uniforms can be regarded as promoting social equality among students and school-pride, but the practice has also been criticised for promoting a form of uniformity characteristic of militarism.

The decision as to whether to implement school uniform policy or not is a controversial one and also polarised in societies and countries. In countries such as the United Kingdom, South Africa and a number of Asian nations, school children have to wear approved school uniforms that conform to the uniform policy of their respective school. In modern Europe, Britain and Ireland stand out as the only countries where school uniform is widely adopted by state schools and generally supported by national and local governments although there is no legislation governing school uniform in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. There are some independent schools and state schools that do not have a school uniform policy and that pupils are at liberty to dress in a way considered to be appropriate by themselves and their parents or guardians.

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