A reader letter: ‘Do school uniforms matter in Sheffield?’

I note with admiration the opening line in your report on the school uniform issue at Park Academy, Parents upset by clampdown, The Star, Monday, October 12.

Friday, 16th October 2020, 1:23 pm

The school has indeed caused the controversy in its handling of the matter.

After the unprecedented year these children have endured, wouldn’t it have been more appropriate for staff to stand at the school gate with broad smiles welcoming the children back in, rather than acting like sergeant majors, scrutinising the fine detail of their dress?

Why does it matter?

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Wallace and Gromit with schoolchildren in uniform

All the families concerned had made attempts to comply, although some parents only managed to provide what Wallace and Gromit would call The Wrong Trousers.

Please tell me, why do schools set themselves up for conflict?

Just leave the matter alone and get on with teaching the kids.

We encourage kids to think for themselves and respect their own individuality then shoot them down when they do. If there is a point to it all.

Why don’t the teachers set an example and wear the uniform?

Today, I have donated to a charity for very poor children in Cambodia, only to find a priority on the spending list is provision of school uniforms.

Irrational nonsense seems to be spreading afar.

I also donate to Gaza where a recent photo showed kids eagerly attending a schoolroom, half of which had been literally blown to bits.

No uniforms there, just a sense of enthusiasm to get on with what really matters – their education.

How will we ever stop bullying in schools while those with the power use it to assert their will on others under threat of disrupting their education if they don’t conform?

I have three sons who never wore a uniform and have acquired three degrees and two PhDs, as well as being happy well-rounded adults with lovely families.

I have seen the eldest, a Cambridge graduate, lecture to a full house at the Crucible, standing there in his jeans and T-shirt.

His delivery was important. His clothes were not.

G Shepherd

Sheffield