Long associated primarily with private and parochial institutions, school uniform policies have become a part of the natural landscape in public schools across the country. In fact, according to a recent survey of principals and other school leaders conducted by Lands' End School Uniform in partnership with the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), school uniforms or a formal dress code policy in public schools are on the rise as nearly half (49 percent) have a policy in place or have plans to implement one – more than double from 2000 (21 percent).
"In a constantly changing educational system, we often hear about non-uniform schools looking to transition to a more structured dress code," said John Maher, senior vice president, Lands' End Outfitters. "Through our partnership with NAESP, Lands' End School Uniform is happy to provide schools and parents with valuable information as the want for school uniforms continues to grow in their communities."
The steady growth of school uniforms or formal dress code policies in public schools may be due, in part, to students who struggle with wanting to wear the latest clothing looks in order to fit in at school. Unfortunately, many do not have the means to do so and may fall victim to peer pressure or bullying. In fact, surveyed school leaders with a school uniform or formal dress code policy in place believe their current policy has made a significant, positive impact on peer pressure (86 percent) and bullying (64 percent).
The survey also revealed there are other areas where positivity prevailed when it came to school uniforms. Leaders stated they believe their school uniform or formal dress code policy has made a positive impact on the following:
"Principals are charged with developing and maintaining a positive and safe school culture," said Gail Connelly, NAESP's executive director. "We know that a school uniform policy can help reduce instances of classroom discipline and bullying, as well as improve student safety and attendance. The use of school uniforms, whether in public or private schools, has a powerful influence on school culture in ways that contribute to greater levels of student achievement."
Another reason for the rise of school uniforms could be the budgetary benefits they offer parents, especially in the current state of the down economy. Of the school leaders surveyed with a uniform or formal dress code policy in place,77 percent estimated the average cost of school uniforms per child, per year, was $150 or less. With that said, it was not surprising to uncover that eight out of 10 survey respondents (86 percent) believed one of the main benefits to parents is that school uniforms are more cost-effective than regular apparel.
Besides budget, school leaders surveyed also believe parents benefit from the following as a result of having a school uniform or formal dress code policy in place:
Today, the majority of school leaders (90 percent) prefer to keep it casual, with polos and chinos, rather than dress casual (oxford dress shirts, blazers, plaids, skirts, ties, and/or chino pants) when it comes to their school uniforms. Apparently, the choice for casual over dress casual uniform styles is also on the rise as only 55 percent of school leaders surveyed in 2000 held a casual uniform policy.
Additional School Uniform Survey Findings:
About National Association of Elementary School Principals
Established in 1921, the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) is the leading national association representing elementary and middle school principals in the United States, Canada, and overseas. NAESP supports principals as the primary catalysts for creating lasting foundations for learning through policy development, advocacy, and resources for effective instructional leadership. NAESP seeks to advance the principalship and address issues in pre-K–3 alignment, principal preparation and evaluation, and building the capacity of new principals. www.naesp.org.
About Lands' End School Uniform
Lands' End offers uniforms and school-appropriate clothing in sizes for children, young adults and adults that are designed to meet dress-code requirements. Lands' End School Uniform includes phys-ed wear such as tees, shorts, sweatshirts and sweatpants, plus spiritwear that can be personalized with logos. Lands' End School Uniform apparel is available year-round in sizes including slim, plus, husky, junior, young men and tall. Lands' End School Uniform products offer the same quality, value and guarantee for which Lands' End is legendary. To help schools, the Lands' End School Rewards program gives participating schools up to three percent cash back on the net sales of school uniforms. Lands' End School Uniform is available online at www.landsend.com/school and via the Lands' End School Uniform catalog. To request a catalog or order by phone, call 1-800-469-2222.
About Lands' End
Lands' End is a classic American lifestyle brand with a passion for quality, legendary service, real value and a simple two-word promise to stand behind everything it sells: Guaranteed. Period.® Lands' End delivers timeless style for Men, Women, Kids and the Home at www.landsend.com/school, 1-800-800-5800, the Lands' End Shops at Sears and around the world. Lands' End is a proud member of the Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: SHLD).