Add shorts as an option to the Rodborough school uniform policy

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The Problem

There are four weeks left to go in the academic year of 2017-18 at Rodborough. However, as the average summer temperatures in the UK have been rising, and with it set to reach a high of 31°C this week, the school uniform must be able to adapt to the adverse weather conditions posed by the heat wave.

Students are not allowed to wear shorts, forcing almost everybody to wear long trousers, yet giving girls the option of a skirt.

The Solution

We propose:

  1. that the school uniform policy is made gender-neutral, and
  2. that students are allowed to wear plain black chino shorts (as pictured) as part of the summer uniform

We are suggesting chino shorts, as it is incredibly hard to find any other type of formal shorts that fit teenagers.

This solution is not only aesthetically appealing but also promotes Rodborough as a professional and open-minded school.

Why it Matters

Allowing shorts into the school uniform will improve academic performance.

A very recent study conducted by academics at Harvard University, the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), and Georgia State University, published in May 2018 and conducted over a 14 year period, was based on data from 10 million students and shows a clear correlation between temperatures and test results. The study, published by an organisation partly funded by the United States government, found students would achieve lower test results in hotter years, and higher results in cooler years.

"Researchers calculated that for every 0.55C increase in average temperature over the year, there was a 1% fall in learning", the BBC comments. The study went on to further state that schools that had installed air conditioning in their buildings offset almost all of the suffering in learning. However, as this would be extremely expensive and impractical for a state school which has previously asked parents for financial contributions, the only option seems to allow students to wear shorts.

For some teenagers in Britain, they find that they have no choice but to wear shorts to school, despite not being included in their school uniform policy. Jenny Underwood, a mother of a 14-year-old boy in Wales, told the Wales Online that she “had a dispute with the school again over the wearing of shorts so didn’t send him [her son]" to school. 

Under the current rules, Rodborough's Rewards and Sanctions Policy specifies that students could be put in isolation and miss out on valuable classroom activities, such as required practicals in science, if they feel they have no choice but to wear shorts to school in defiance of the uniform policy. If students keep on wearing shorts to school, they may be prevented from participating in break or lunchtime, which is a key part in the school day as it refocuses students, ready for the following lessons.

Therefore, students wearing shorts to school in order to achieve better test results are punished by isolation, which effects test results, and also possibly punished with restricted break time, which would lead to less focus.

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