The Schoolwear Association, which is the trade body for the uniform industry, says that around a dozen schools a week are removing school ties from their list of uniform requirements. There are several reasons for the dumping of the school tie:
• Health and Safety
• Old fashioned look.
But the biggest reason for getting rid of the school tie is that it’s no longer necessary.
A tie used to be the only way to identify which school children were from, but now that polo-shirts, T-shirts and even sweatshirts can be monogrammed in the way that ties used to be, it’s become redundant. Many schools in the UK actually prefer this layering of embroidered or printed uniform items because it was too easy by far for young people to take off their tie and become anonymous.
Polo-shirts have become the standard clothing item for many school uniforms, replacing the collared shirt. Children find them more comfortable to wear, while teenagers consider them less old-fashioned and fuddy-duddy, meaning that they are more likely to wear uniform to school in their rebellious years.
Parents are also happier, as replacing lost school ties was a substantial cost in many households – although it’s not impossible to lose a polo-shirt or T-shirt, it’s considerably more difficult not to realise they are missing at the moment they get dropped, so they are much more likely to be rescued from the walk home, or their role as a temporary goal post or blanket to sit on during a sunny lunch-break.
Wearing a school uniform is a relief to many parents and quite a few children because it means that new clothes for school can be budgeted for, and that the insidious form of fashion-bullying, based on designer clothing and brands, can’t happen.