Smart school uniforms linked to academic success of UK's schools
Pupils in seven out of ten of England's top State schools wear blazers and ties, research revealed last night.
Figures published by the Tories show that the majority of the 100 comprehensives and grammars with the best results impose a traditional uniform policy.
Education spokesman Michael Gove said it provides compelling evidence that a smart dress code leads to academic success - as well as helping teachers enforce discipline.
The figures were drawn from a list of the top schools for GCSE achievement. Just one school - at number 100 - has no uniform policy at all, while 14 insist on ties but allow jumpers instead of blazers.
Among faith schools, the link was even stronger - with 19 of the top 20 stipulating blazers.
The jackets, sporting the school crest, are commonplace in independent schools, but have been replaced by casual sweatshirts in many comprehensives.
Mr Gove, the Shadow Schools Secretary, has called for all state schools to copy the ethos of the best.
A Tory government under David Cameron would encourage state schools to introduce the blazer as a key element of their dress code.
They would not be forced to do so, but Ofsted inspectors would mark schools which have blazers as the "gold standard".
Mr Gove said last night that smart uniforms improve pride and promote a sense of belonging among pupils.
He added: "It is no coincidence that many of the best-performing state schools have proper school uniforms.
"A smart dress code encourages a culture of respect in the classroom which makes it easier for teachers to ensure proper discipline.Unless we can sort out the problems with discipline and behaviour in schools, our children will be ill equipped for the future."
There has been anecdotal evidence of smart uniforms increasing standards - but the Tory research shows for the first time the clear link between dress code and academic success.