Speaking at Wester Hailes Education Centre (WHEC) as it celebrated its New Uniform Day, Mr McConnell said:
'School uniforms send out a strong signal that a school is firmly committed to developing a positive ethos. A school with a positive ethos will encourage achievement, celebrate successes, have high expectations of every child, have lower exclusion rates and fewer discipline problems.
'The importance of an dress code for the classroom was highlighted within the discipline task group I chaired. But the best dress codes or uniforms are introduced with the support of pupils and parents.
'That is why I am delighted that the pupils at Wester Hailes played a central part in deciding not only to introduce a uniform but also what that uniform should look like.
'Schools that listen to the views of pupils have a better sense of attachment between the school and the young people in the community - I look forward to seeing schools across Scotland follow this model.'
1. Following a ballot of pupils and parents, Wester Hailes Education Centre agreed to introduce a school uniform.
2. Radio Forth, through their Help a Child Appeal, contributed£2,500 which will allow each pupil to receive one free item of clothing when they purchase the school uniform. Ethicon, a local manufacturer of medical products, has contributed£2,500 and their sponsorship will allow school sports teams and school bands to be kitted out in new outfits.
3. The report of the discipline task group - 'Better Behaviour - Better Learning' - included among its 36 recommendations a recommendation (9) that 'schools should consult with pupils, teachers, parents/carers in order to agree a dress code for children and young people.'