I'm so grateful that my 3 kids all have approved school uniform lists for me to buy from each year. Why? Despite the expense I still believe this tradition should be upheld for so many reasons - both as a parent and for my children's sake too. Firstly, from the child's perspective they look, and therefore feel, the same as the rest of their classmates so there is no 'jeans/trainers/crop-top envy' to contend with - a huge problem for girls particularly and I'm happy that this extra little bit of teenage stress doesn't exist in our house in the mornings.
Uniform gives my kids a sense of identity which helps create loyalty and a standard of expected behaviour, both in and out of school (ie. easily identifiable on the bus home when wearing a cherry red blazer!). I simply don't understand why parents complain about the expense of a specified uniform without questioning how much it will cost to keep their kids in the latest 'home' clothes for an extra 40+ weeks of the year. Not to mention the potential problems at school if some of this clothing gets spoilt/stolen/lost - teachers have enough challenges without being contacted about Johnny's spoilt/lost/stolen Superdry hoodie!
I'd be interested to know if parents who have kids at non-uniform schools agree...and if so...have you tried and failed to get your school to change its mind?