Photographer's Note


Many believe that school uniforms are a superficial aspect of a school. Superficial or not, school uniform is part of the history of British education. The reason that Britain's great public schools began instituting uniforms was much the same reason that educators in America's dreadfull urban schools have begun to require uniforms. The English public school in the 18th and early 19th century had become anarchic, dangerous places in which boys from aristocrats and wealthy families as they wished and played voluntary games in whatever worn and battered gear was to hand. Interestingly many of our most popular modern sports (rugby, soccer, football, cricket, and baseball) originated in the informal, off rough and caotic play of English school boys. Conditions were so bad that many parents refused to send their boys and instead had them educated at home until they were ready for university. The uniformity in clothing was one of the measures designed to replace caos with disciplined order. Along with compulsory games, stricter supervision of the pupils' lives and morals, and a broadening of the classical curriculum, school uniform was an essential characteristic of the reformed public schools that emerged by the late 19th Century as some of the most effective and prestgious schools in Europe.
Several countries have been influencd by European, primarily English, school uniforms. Many former English colonies adopted Engkish school uniforms. This was the case in Australia, New Zealand, and South africa, but not Canada. I'm not sure why Canada ws an exception, perhaps because of the American influence. British school uniforms had some influence on American private schools and as some elementry schools began adopting school uniforms in the 1980s, British styles were influential, especilly for girl's uniforms. Many former Britsh colonies in Africa, the Caribbean, and Asia also adopted school uniform, although often simplified and hited to styles suitable for the tropics.

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Additional Photos by Claude SIMONIN (CLODO) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2728 W: 1352 N: 3103] (39291)
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