My big girl is getting ready for her first day of year four, and is putting on her Catholic school uniform (which is unusually orderly, having just had its annual dryclean).
There are debates to be had about school uniforms. The most common is that they suppress kids' individuality. That's an interesting issue and an argument I'm willing to have, but ultimately I tend to come down on the side of uniforms. They prevent kids from using clothes to compete with one another, which alienates those who can't afford to keep up with the Joneses. And on the whole (or at my daughter's school, at least), they save money. I'll take my daughter's easy to wash and dry pinafore any day, over the barrage of costly Bratz outfits and impractical shoes I might otherwise have to buy.
One thing I'm less than chuffed about, though, is that uniform sales seem to be used by some schools at least as a profit-making venture. I've heard through the grapevine that the Ministry of Consumer Affairs has had several complaints to this effect. Because there's not a large market for any particular type of school uniform, manufacturers and/or retailers (who may be schools) are in a position to charge unfairly.
At my daughter's school, uniform costs are still cheaper than equipping my girl with a year's worth of mufti. But I'm completely bemused by the requirement that girls wear a polo shirt with the school insignia on it. The insignia raises the price of the shirt from $20 to $40 bucks - even though its really just a bog standard shirt manufactured by mistreated workers in China. And to add insult to injury, the insignia is completely hidden beneath the girls' pinafores. Only God can see it! It makes me a bit suspicious...