Provide a fair alternative for Wadham School's 'Uniform and Phone' changes

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In September 2018, Wadham School are proposing changes to the current rules in place regarding uniform and mobile phone usage. These changes include requiring students to wear grey trousers and skirts rather than the traditional black and banning the use of mobile phones onsite. But some of the students who these changes will affect have noticed that the problems are not being addressed in a meaningful and productive way.

Banning items collectively for a year group does not confront the issue at hand - which is that some students excessively use phones and do not comply to uniform rules, therefore they should be dealt with in a stricter manner rather than transforming the reasonable rules already set in place that the majority of students do follow. One of the reasons why this uniform change has been proposed is because of students wearing non-uniform items. However, non-uniform items can still be found in grey, so this does not eliminate the problem. Directly punishing students who consistently break the uniform code would effectively eliminate the problem, even if it is the majority of the school. The letter sent out to inform students of the changes states that "we want to support you and your families in avoiding the debate around what is and isn't acceptable", but avoiding debate is exactly what would have prevented these changes from having to be implemented. Discussing this issue is important, yet Wadham School is too stubborn to consider the views that dominate the majority its students, yet alone provide a compromise.

I am a Sixth Form student, so these changes do not affect me personally. However, I believe that trust should be developed between students and teachers, and banning mobile phones regresses the independence and maturity the teachers are supposed to be encouraging. It is undeniable that people from our generation spend too much time on our phones, however, not every student uses them in the classroom and if they do, it should be the teacher's responsibility to confiscate it rather than the students' punishment to keep it off. Not every act on a phone means an individual avoids socialisation. Wadham School encourages us to be independent. All that these changes are doing is pulling students back.

These changes may seem small and insignificant, but if they affect many people and make them frustated then change should occur. And the intention of this petition is mainly to open the discussion of uniform and mobile phones, rather than keep it closed and inherently fixed on school customs from years ago.

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