Girl lobbies head to change school uniform policy

Delilah Bannister, left, and Maya Wanelik, both 14

Delilah Bannister, left, and Maya Wanelik, both 14

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by

WHILE teenagers across the country grumble about pulling on their blazers each morning, one Oxford pupil is calling for uniform jumpers to be introduced at her school.

As part of her citizenship GCSE, Maya Wanelik, 14, from Summertown, was asked to contact people in authority about an issue she would like to change.

Maya decided she wanted to change The Cherwell School’s long-standing tradition of having no uniform, and contacted her headteacher Paul James and Oxford West and Abingdon MP Nicola Blackwood.

She said: “Some children get bullied because they wear designer clothes and other children are jealous, but children who don’t have designer clothes can get bullied too.

“Anything that isn’t uniform means there’s a chance of children getting bullied.”

She said it was important that the school kept its unique identity and suggested a school jumper with a logo rather than a full-scale uniform could be introduced.

Maya said: “We don’t want a full uniform because Cherwell’s unique for not having one, but I think a school jumper would be positive.

“Children would behave better outside school because they represent the school.

“I think it will also reduce inappropriate clothing worn in school – at the moment some girls wear quite revealing clothes.”

Related links

She believed that rather than being an additional expense for parents, it would mean less was spent on other clothes worn to school.

She said: “When I spoke to friends, all of them said ‘no’ to uniform but when I said some sort of jumper, most said yes.”

Delilah Bannister, 14, from North Oxford, said: “In a way it’s good not to have a uniform because it makes us unique but having a jumper or cardigan would be good because it brings everyone together.”

Mr James said the citizenship exercise was generating a flurry of correspondence.

He said: “MPs are getting letters about poverty, student fees or Darfur, while I tend to get emails about toilets, catering and school uniform.” He pointed out the school already had a PE uniform which included a hooded sweatshirt which some pupils chose to wear during lessons.

He said: “I’m happy we are non-uniform but as always I’m happy to talk to students about any suggestions.

“The issue of school uniform is not one which is a priority for us.”

MAYA MAKES HER CASE

"I think we should have some sort of uniform at The Cherwell School for a number of reasons.

"Firstly, it will reduce the amount of any bullying because students are often bullied over what they are wearing at school.

"Secondly, it will make students safer if they decide to go to Summertown for their lunch break because it will be easier for the public to identify them as potentially vulnerable.

"Thirdly, wearing a uniform with the school logo will make students behave better outside school because they will realise they are representing their school.

"Fourthly, having a uniform will stop students wearing any inappropriate clothing at school.

"A school uniform will in the long run save parents’ money and help the environment.

"At the moment we are required to wear a simple uniform in our PE lessons.

"Our PE kit is a dark-blue top with our school logo but we are free to wear any dark-blue shorts; as for shoes, any decent and comfortable sport shoes are acceptable.

"I think we could have something similar to this: a choice of an informal school uniform.

"Our school is unique for not having any uniform but we can still remain unique by having just a school jumper, a V-neck or a hoodie, with students able to pick."

Comments (5)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

7:48pm Thu 20 Oct 11

Feelingsmatter says...

A HOODIE! Gasp! I thought hoodies were the route of all evil! I wish schols would take a more practical position on uniforms. At John Mason school the children are only allowed to remove their jumpers if the head mistress gives permission! This means that during the October heat wave children sweltered and lost concentration because the royal order from above wasn't given. Idiocy. I wish the girls every success with their campaign. Even if they fail, they presented their argument extremely well!
A HOODIE! Gasp! I thought hoodies were the route of all evil! I wish schols would take a more practical position on uniforms. At John Mason school the children are only allowed to remove their jumpers if the head mistress gives permission! This means that during the October heat wave children sweltered and lost concentration because the royal order from above wasn't given. Idiocy. I wish the girls every success with their campaign. Even if they fail, they presented their argument extremely well! Feelingsmatter
  • Score: 0

10:38pm Thu 20 Oct 11

shipscat says...

Feelingsmatter

A hoodie keeps out the wind.
Obvious you dont have one.
Feelingsmatter A hoodie keeps out the wind. Obvious you dont have one. shipscat
  • Score: 0

8:01am Fri 21 Oct 11

Feelingsmatter says...

I have five ship's cat! I wish schools would allow hoodies; to demoise an article of clothing is ridiculous.
I have five ship's cat! I wish schools would allow hoodies; to demoise an article of clothing is ridiculous. Feelingsmatter
  • Score: 0

12:28pm Fri 21 Oct 11

King Joke says...

I'd go the whole hog and bring back blazers. 10000000000000 years ago my school had them, they were great for keeping your pens, calculator etc in.
.
THe JOhn Mason situation sounds daft, having a uniform is no excuse for inflexibility.
.
Maya is right, there are enough distractions as it is without peer pressure to make sure you have the latest (insert brand here) trainers or hoodie on. Uniform is a great leveller and ensures those on a low income or with non-fashion-consciou
s parents don't get ridiculed by the clique.
I'd go the whole hog and bring back blazers. 10000000000000 years ago my school had them, they were great for keeping your pens, calculator etc in. . THe JOhn Mason situation sounds daft, having a uniform is no excuse for inflexibility. . Maya is right, there are enough distractions as it is without peer pressure to make sure you have the latest (insert brand here) trainers or hoodie on. Uniform is a great leveller and ensures those on a low income or with non-fashion-consciou s parents don't get ridiculed by the clique. King Joke
  • Score: 0

12:28pm Fri 21 Oct 11

King Joke says...

I'd go the whole hog and bring back blazers. 10000000000000 years ago my school had them, they were great for keeping your pens, calculator etc in.
.
THe JOhn Mason situation sounds daft, having a uniform is no excuse for inflexibility.
.
Maya is right, there are enough distractions as it is without peer pressure to make sure you have the latest (insert brand here) trainers or hoodie on. Uniform is a great leveller and ensures those on a low income or with non-fashion-consciou
s parents don't get ridiculed by the clique.
I'd go the whole hog and bring back blazers. 10000000000000 years ago my school had them, they were great for keeping your pens, calculator etc in. . THe JOhn Mason situation sounds daft, having a uniform is no excuse for inflexibility. . Maya is right, there are enough distractions as it is without peer pressure to make sure you have the latest (insert brand here) trainers or hoodie on. Uniform is a great leveller and ensures those on a low income or with non-fashion-consciou s parents don't get ridiculed by the clique. King Joke
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree