why uniforms prevent girls from playing

School principals were the most reluctant, with just 38 percent stating their support. “The biggest hurdle is the image and its relevance to formal occasions,” Ms. McCarthy said.

“It’s important for schools. We know that, and it doesn’t matter. There is a sense of identity. But maybe it’s more about challenging uniform suppliers to create attractive and smart sportswear that would always be acceptable. “

While a 2018 ministerial directive ensured that girls in NSW public schools could wear shorts, many of those uniforms were still restrictive. “There are tailored shorts and black leather shoes,” Ms. McCarthy said.

“When we [adults] go for a run or walk, we wear our sneakers. But our kids do it all the time with black leather shoes. We have adapted and changed, but not the schools.

Alison Boston of the Girls Uniform Alliance said many private schools were reluctant to change their uniforms, so a study showing the relationship between activity and less restrictive uniforms could prompt them to rethink their policies.


“Their attitudes are such that how children look and how schools are marketed are more important than whether children are active or not,” she said. “Cultural change takes time.

“The solution is probably not in the next four years, but in the next 10 or 20, when our children’s children ask why they still wear those tights and ties to school.

Professor David Lubans, whose research showed that Grade 11 students who did short periods of intensive exercise during class a few times a week were more engaged and less stressed, said the change of uniform removed a barrier to physical activity.

“Time is always the big thing we have to overcome in high school uniforms, but removing the barrier of change makes so much sense,” he said.

The Sydney Meadowbank Public School joined the study. Deputy principal Louise Imseih said girls could wear shorts, skorts, a winter tunic or a summer dress, but many younger students opted for the winter dress or tunic.

“It’s very limiting,” she said. “Older boys tend to wear shorts all year round, and they’ll wear sneakers. They are not limited by the school uniform. For the girls, it would make a big difference.

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