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Dressed for School Success: A study into School Uniform and Dress Codes in Sweden and the United Kingdom
Växjö University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Social Sciences. Växjö University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Education.
2009 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This study highlights a number of different aspects regarding uniforms and dress codes in the United Kingdom (UK) and Sweden. The study comprises three parts: a quantitative comparison of GCSE pass rates for schools in the UK that do and do not have school uniforms, a qualitative survey study of Scottish High School pupils' perceptions about their uniform and a qualitative interview study of Swedish teachers, administrators and pupils about their school dress, rules regarding school dress and school uniforms.

Regarding whether uniforms improved academic results by comparing GCSE pass rates in the UK we were unable to find conclusive evidence to suggest that schools which had uniform policies performed significantly better than other schools.

Regarding Scottish pupils’ perceptions of their uniforms, pupils from lower-educated backgrounds were more likely to perceive that they were told off by teachers about not wearing the correct dress. When asked whether pupils felt more equal compared to their peers, those from lower-educated background were more likely to think that uniforms do not help to level out class difference compared to pupils from better educated backgrounds. Regarding bullying, even though uniforms existed at the school studied bullying due to what pupils wore to school still existed and pupils perceived that bullying due to other factors such as physical appearance also occurred.

Regarding the results from interviews with teachers and administrators in the Swedish town studied, most teachers took a fairly relaxed attitude towards pupils’ dress although the dress code of not wearing outdoor clothes in High Schools was policed quite strongly. Teachers saw the issue of female pupils dressing overtly sexually as the biggest problem and this was dealt with on an individual level rather than a class level.

High school pupils’ opinions of their dress code varied. Some hated the school rule that they were not allowed to wear outdoor clothes, whereas for others it was not seen as a big deal. A number of pupils thought that what you wore in class does not affect their learning outcomes. Very few pupils thought that introducing a uniform would be a good idea. Pupils at Sixth Form College had a more mature attitude towards their dress and were able to reflect back on their experiences from High School. They did not think that the issue of dress was a major issue in Sixth Form College however this did vary slightly between the three schools studied. Pupils at two of the schools perceived the dress code of the third school as being more formal, but this was due mainly to prejudice according to a number of pupils. The large majority of Sixth Form College students thought that introducing school uniform would be a bad idea and that bullying would not be eradicated because pupils can always pick on other attributes, not just clothing. However there were a couple of Sixth Form College that thought that introducing it would be a good way to reduce peer-pressure to buy the right clothes in High School.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. , p. 63
Series
LÄRARUTBILDNINGEN
Keywords [en]
school Uniform, school dress codes, uniform, dress codes, bullying, class difference, rebels, docile bodies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:vxu:diva-6505OAI: oai:DiVA.org:vxu-6505DiVA, id: diva2:283513
Presentation
(English)
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Available from: 2010-01-25 Created: 2009-12-29 Last updated: 2010-03-10Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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