Technical Appendix


School uniform is the clothing pupils are required to wear at school. Uniforms vary from the very formal (requiring blazers) to more informal (involving just a school sweatshirt). Schools have uniforms in different styles and colours to identify pupils as attending a particular institution. Uniforms are required in most schools in the UK.

Search Terms: school uniform

Evidence Rating

There are no systematic reviews or meta-analyses of well-controlled interventions of a school uniform policy. The evidence rests mainly on correlational studies that have compared the performance of schools with uniforms to those without, or that have examined a school's trajectory of improvement after the introduction of school uniform. The most rigorous reviews and analyses have so far been unable to establish a causal link, but speculate that adoption of a uniform policy may provide a symbolic and public commitment to school improvement. Overall, the evidence is rated as very limited.

Additional Cost Information

The costs associated with introducing a school uniform are very low and mainly depend on parents buying the uniform instead of other clothing the child would wear.


Brunsma, D.L. & Rockquemore, K.
Statistics, sound bites and school uniforms: a reply to Bodine open_in_new
Journal of Educational Research 97.2 pp 72-77
Reynolds, B.A.
An analysis of the evidence produced by quantitative research on the effects of school uniforms on student discipline and academic achievement open_in_new
PhD thesis submitted to the faculty of Brigham Young University, Salt Lake City, Utah
Sowell, R. E.
The relationship of school uniforms to student attendance, achievement, and discipline open_in_new
Doctoral dissertation, Liberty University
Yeung, R.
Are school uniforms a good fit? Results from the ECLS-K and the NELS open_in_new
Educational Policy, 23(6), 847-874

Summary of effects

Single Studies Effect size FSM effect size
Samuels, K.S. (2003)
0.03 - Language arts
-0.06 - Mathematics
Sowell, R. E. (2012)
0.02 - Reading
Yeung, R. (2009)
0.00 - Reading (2nd grade)
Median effect size 0.01  

The right hand column provides detail on the specific outcome measures or, if in brackets, details of the intervention or control group.