Most British children wear school uniform to go to school. They have to. The school rules say that the children have to wear school uniform at school.
What sort of school uniform? Well, my younger children are both at secondary school. My daughter has to wear a dark green skirt or trousers, a white blouse, a dark green jumper, and black shoes and socks or tights. The Moslem girls at her school may wear a head-scarf, but it must be dark green or white or black.
My son wears black trousers, a white shirt, a school tie and a dark blue jumper.
At some schools, the pupils wear blazers – that is, a jacket in school colours with the school badge on the pocket.
In most other European countries, children do not wear uniform to go to school. They just wear their normal clothes. People in Germany and Scandinavia, for instance, think that British school uniforms are very strange.
So what do British children think? Generally, they don’t mind wearing school uniform. After all, all their friends have to wear school uniform too. And many parents are happy, because there are no arguments with their children about what they may wear for school; and less pressure from their children to buy expensive new clothes because their school friends have them.
But sometimes it is nice not to have to wear school uniform. About 2 or 3 times a year, many British schools have a “no uniform day” as a way of raising money for charity. The children come to school wearing their normal clothes, and give some money to the charity. Often the children themselves help to choose which charity they will support.
Today, 17 November, lots of schools have a no uniform day, to raise money for theBBC Children in Need appeal. So my children have gone to school today wearing jeans and trainers and t-shirts.
So why is this podcast called “no clothes day”? Well, a young friend of my children once told us excitedly that “tomorrow is a no clothes day at school”. We laughed and said that it was a “no uniform day”, not a “no clothes day”. But ever since then, in our family, we have talked of “no clothes day”.