Failing uniform rules fuels poor classroom behaviour claims coalitions behaviour expert

Can it be so simple that the key to our failing classrooms can be corrected by implementing a strict school uniform policy? According to the coalitions behaviour expert Charlie Taylor, Head of The Willow – a specialist school in West London, schools should consider introducing traditional uniforms – and reprimands for those failing to wear it properly – to instil pride in education.

“It sets a tone for a school,” he said. “When you arrive outside a school and you have children with their top buttons undone and a large tie knot half way down their neck, it just says ‘this uniform doesn’t really matter, it’s not really that important’.

His comments were made as the Government published new guidance for schools on dealing with bad behaviour.

The 50 page document – which replaces 600 pages of bureaucratic guidelines issued by Labour – orders schools to scrap “no touch” policies and use reasonable force when removing violent children from the classroom.

The document goes on to tell head teachers to consider prosecuting pupils who make false allegations against teachers and cautions against automatically suspending staff accused of an attack.

Schools can also use airport-style security scanners without children’s consent to search for weapons and frisk pupils suspected of carrying knives, alcohol, drugs and stolen goods, it says.

Sharon Hughes, Director of Learning at community based tutors, Tutors4GCSE, commented “We see this all the time when we’re tutoring the type of student that Mr Taylor is referring to. Whilst personally I think it’s nice to have a smart school uniform and to take pride in appearance I feel that the government is focusing on the wrong issues. Engaging with students on their level and delivering a relevant curriculum may prove to be a more productive approach to instilling a sense of pride rather than a tidy tie knot”.