TO: South London Daddy: thank you for your measured response. You’re absolutely right: one can’t realistically conclude that British schoolgirls are more at risk than their European cousins because of the uniform (& not because of other factors you’ve mentioned). As far as I know, no proper research or blind studies have been conducted into the subject and, knowing the British Govt’s (& in my experience British parents’) obsession with school uniforms, there won’t be. But what we do have of course is the evidence in the 2018 Report commissioned by the children’s charity (to which I’ve referred) which specifically looked at girls in school uniforms, & which suggested that the uniforms definitely have something to do with sexual harassment & risk. possibly a great deal to do with it. The stats are frightening. This can’t be dismissed. It’s generally known also that a good deal of pornography involves women in school uniforms … there’s something about them that turns men on! We might not like it, it's odious, but it HAS to be recognised: in the case of schoolgirls, it can put them at real risk – why therefore force girls to wear them ? I personally have witnessed two incidents on local buses involving girls in school uniforms, in one of which I intervened & called the police. The girl was clearly distressed, the perpetrator pressed the emergency exit button & legged it, & the driver was utterly disinterested. Passengers however were supportive. It has to be said however that a few, but not many, more enlightened schools in the UK in recent years have ditched uniforms, & we all know of the leading independent girls' school (in Hammersmith) which has not had a uniform policy for many years. There is also the issue of cost – which can be prohibitive. Save the Children has reported that there are children in deprived UK areas who are unable to go to school because their parents can’t afford the uniform &, incredulously, they're not allowed to attend without wearing one!
What sort of message is that giving out? Possibly that the British don’t care about children. On many levels, I personally think that uniforms should be abolished .... but I'm not holding my breath.