Speaking at the Education World Forum on Monday, Mr Hinds described uniform as an “important leveller” for disadvantaged students. The Telegraph reports.
When asked whether stringent policies should be in place to help poorer children who go to school and find their classmates wearing designer shoes, Mr Hinds said: “Uniform itself is an important leveller and I think does play a really important role in that sense.
“Schools of course can, and in some cases do, have rules to make sure that you don’t get some of the kind of ‘footwear competitiveness’ – more likely to be trainers I think, than black school shoes.
In November, it was reported that Woodchurch High School in Birkenhead had banned pupils from wearing expensive designer coats in an attempt to stop poverty shaming.
In October, independent MP Frank Field said that school uniforms should be made VAT-free to bring down their “rip-off” prices and boost social mobility.
Mr Field told The Daily Telegraph that the punitive costs of paying for school uniforms were “becoming a barrier to social mobility”.
Writing in the Telegraph in 2016, Keith Metcalfe, deputy headmaster elect at Harrow School said that uniform was a “great leveller.”
“Boys at Harrow do not wear uniform simply for the sake of tradition, to feel they belong, or even to prepare them mentally to study,” he said.
“Like so many things at Harrow, our uniform is a great leveller. No two Harrovians are the same: some live in London, others much further afield in the UK or overseas; a number come from established Harrow families, others have no experience of public schooling; many excel in sport or the arts, while others are incredibly strong academically.”
Please tell your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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