Uniform debate

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 February, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 10 February, 2009, 12:00am

This week Discussing the pros and cons of an issue

'This house believes school uniforms should not be compulsory'

School uniform is an essential part of school life. Like it or hate it, most secondary students have to wear a uniform before they can pass through the school gates. Education experts believe that a uniform plays a valuable role in contributing to the success of a school. But where do you stand? Do you think school uniforms should be compulsory? Let's look on both sides of the fence and debate this hot topic.

For the motion

Kate is proposing the motion. She hates wearing her school uniform and would much rather go to school in clothes she wants to wear. She has written down some clear ideas against school uniforms. Can you complete the notes she has made in her notebook?

1 At school we are taught to express ourselves but wearing a school uniform ......

a interferes with self-expression

b promotes good self-expression

2 Having to buy a school uniform places an unnecessary burden on .......

a schools with not much money

b families who don't have a high income

3 School uniforms are always unattractive and this .......

a is not good for the students' self-image

b makes students feel good about themselves

4 Making anyone wear a uniform is a way of one group ..........

a of students showing they don't want to conform

b of people forcing their power on others

5 Wearing a school uniform prevents students from ...........

a understanding other people who think differently to them

b understanding the likes and dislikes of their teachers

6 A recent study at the University of Alabama found that .......

a 'student uniforms improved a student's self-image'

b 'student uniforms have no direct effect on behaviour or school attendance'

7 A school uniform suppresses individualism and ..........

a encourages teachers to treat students as groups and not individuals

b encourages teachers to rebel against school rules

8 Wearing a school uniform reflects old-fashioned teaching methods and ......

a is out of step with the modern world

b shows that a school is trying to be progressive

Against the motion

Benny is opposing the motion. Can you sort out his notes for him?

1 Wearing a school uniform prevents ..........

a the formation of dress-identified groups or gangs

b the formation of friendship groups

2 A school uniform acts as a social leveller making all students .........

a equal in the eyes of everyone connected to the school

b feel unnatural and out of place

3 Wearing any sort of uniform makes people of all ages develop .........

a a feeling of being different

b a strong sense of belonging to a particular community

4 Wearing a uniform in school ..............

a promotes discipline and raises the academic standards of the school

b encourages low academic achievement

5 School uniforms prepare students for ...........

a life in the world of work where most people are expected to dress smartly and stick

to a dress code

b family life and accepting new responsibilities

6 Wearing a reasonably priced school uniform ...........

a removes the pressure on students to spend lots of money on designer clothes to

wear at school

b makes students feel they are wearing high fashion

7 A school uniform has many benefits ............

a outside the school environment

b at the weekend

8 Wearing a school uniform encourages pupils to .......

a take pride in their appearance

b disobey school rules

now do this

Think about where you stand on the 16 points put forward by Kate and Benny. Would you want to be for or against the motion? Can you expand on the points Kate and Benny put forward? Now you can organise your own debate on this subject.


Kate: 1. a, 2. b, 3. a, 4. b, 5. a, 6. b, 7. a, 8. a

Benny: 1. a, 2. a, 3. b, 4. a, 5. a, 6. a, 7. a, 8. a