to wonder if you care what your child's teacher dresses like

(139 Posts)
MsColour Thu 19-Sep-13 12:30:29

The school I work in has just introduced a new dress code. Basically we need to look smart - no denim, skirts not too short, no strappy tops, tattoos covered....Most of generally dress like this anyway so it's not a major issue - I always cover my tattoos for work. My dp thinks that it shouldn't matter as it's the results that count.

Just wondering if parents care what their chidren's teachers look like or is it not an issue.

Snoot Thu 19-Sep-13 13:34:01

I quite like them to look a little different or alternative. Obviously clean and reasonably smart though, they should lead the children by example. They also need to be taken seriously as professionals by a wide range of parents and visitors. I think tattoos and piercings are fine but too much flesh on show is inappropriate.

SandStorm Thu 19-Sep-13 13:39:18

If we expect the children to be dressed smartly and appropriately for school then I expect the same of the teachers. I don't mind individualism but I don't want to see too much flesh on show.

meditrina Thu 19-Sep-13 13:39:41

Up to a point, yes.

I would expect teachers to be suitably clad (up to them to decide what is suitable - my only stipulation would be no visible underwear, but I can't imagine any teacher letting undies show anyhow). Clothes should be clean (at start of day at least) and in good repair, and without controversial or obscene images or slogans. Tattoos should be covered if they feature nudity, swearing or mages likely to disturb children (eg snakes emerging from skulls).

Onesleeptillwembley Thu 19-Sep-13 13:40:56

If you're a professional then you should dress in a professional manner.

kim147 Thu 19-Sep-13 13:40:57

I remember a TA at a secondary school in jeans, loose top and whose thong (a bright red thing) clearly showed up when she was working with teenagers.

cantspel Thu 19-Sep-13 13:42:27

If my son has to dress smart in a blazer and tie then i think the teacher staff should also make the effort to dress in a smart professional manner.

kim147 Thu 19-Sep-13 13:42:35

Clothes also need to be suitable for the classroom. Lots of kneeling and bending in early years, art work etc.

I've seen some Headteachers wear stuff that I didn't think was professional for a Head.

Pancakeflipper Thu 19-Sep-13 13:42:43

I like clean.

And low cut tops aren't good if primary school teaching as there is a lot of bending down.

thebody Thu 19-Sep-13 13:44:05

well personally as a parent I fucking hate and loathe school uniform and lots of petty rules and regs.

I would love to see teachers dress as individuals as I love to see teenagers exploring hair colour/style/ dress sense.

I expect clean, I expect clothes to cover sexual bitsgrin
but most of all I expect a well run, happy school.

I care because I am eyeing them up as potential clients grin.

I like it when people make an effort with how they dress, and when their clothes say something about them. Difficult to say a blanket 'no' to any one thing - I agree with meditrina actually. As long as it would pass in a U rated film, that's fine with me.

tobiasfunke Thu 19-Sep-13 13:47:39

My DS's teacher wears lovely skirts and tops and seems to have a different pair of converse for everyday of the week. The kids love it.

hettienne Thu 19-Sep-13 13:47:58

I think smart and practical, especially as children are wearing uniforms. Would not be impressed to see a teacher in torn jeans or a mini-skirt and fishnets tbh.

Akray Thu 19-Sep-13 13:48:39

I never thought about how teachers dressed until this year ~ my DD has gone into primary 7 (Scotland) and her teacher wears very tight, short skirts / dresses and tight, cleavage showing tops. I haven't actually seen her but DD reckons her to be in her mid twenties. She said one day she bent over and you could see her pants, and that her boobs are always on show causing the boys in class to stare and giggle blush . Guess its not really appropriate for school but as long as they are learning its not really an issue for me ~ would feel a bit embarrassed complaining tbh......

hettienne Thu 19-Sep-13 13:49:40

Though I do think smart jeans, converse, shirt and cardigan would be fine in a primary school if children can wear dark trousers, polo shirts and jumpers. In secondary if children are in shirts and jackets, so should teachers.

noblegiraffe Thu 19-Sep-13 13:49:47

Teenagers take you more seriously if you're not dressed like a bag of rags.

LittleMissGerardLouiseButler Thu 19-Sep-13 13:49:47

Hmm this is a difficult one.

The teacher my older son had last year was quite scruffy, wore track suit bottoms and t shirt, long hair and beard. While some parents were a bit hmm he was a great teacher and my son who is struggling in school loved him and really came along.

This year however he has started wearing trousers and shirts and looks much better now, though there is a new head so maybe a dress code? The head before who retired was lovely but didn't have enough discipline. Her daughter worked at the school and dressed like she was going on a night out, the dads in the yard seemed to like it though!

My younger sons teacher has always dressed smartly but I'm not keen on her, so given the choice I would rather have a scruffy but good teacher.

Zoe678 Thu 19-Sep-13 13:50:29

A teacher in my dc's school wore what I can only describe as 'fuck me' boots recently and I looked twice. But no, I don't care. I care that they're good.

thebody Thu 19-Sep-13 13:51:25

my dd 14 was most aggrieved last night as her Spanish teacher told her her skirt was too short. she added 'I wouldn't mind but she dressed like a right old prostitute'

out of the mouths..

LittleMissGerardLouiseButler Thu 19-Sep-13 13:51:36

<starts wondering if OP works in my sons school>

poshfrock Thu 19-Sep-13 13:53:46

I think professional but appropriate so trousers plus blouse or jumper for women at primary and shirt/ jumper for men. At secondary where less bending down and messy stuff then I would expect more formal attire, so dress and jacket or suit for women and definitely shirt and tie for men.And I would expect this throughout higher education too. I could never take my lecturers at uni seriously who turned up looking like ageing students in scruffy t-shirts and jeans. Seemed to be particularly prolific in the English dept. Fortunately my modern language lecturers all knew how to dress.
Three of my siblings and one in-law are teachers, mixture of primary, secondary and higher ed. They all dress as I describe so I don't think IABU.

FeetUpUntilChristmas Thu 19-Sep-13 13:54:35

In primary IMO the clothes should be appropriate more than smart. No scary tattoos or piercings or make up.

In senior school they should be smart in line with the schools uniform policy. For my daughters the girls have a strict uniform and in the sixth form have to wear smart business clothes with a jacket. The teachers should be dressing along the same lines.

thebody Thu 19-Sep-13 13:54:41

teenagers take you more seriously if you don't spend half your teaching time supporting daft concepts of keeping blazers on in a heat wave and demanding schools new expensive logos on skirts.

teenagers respect good teachers. good teachers respect kids.
good schools respect parents are struggling financially.

ILetHimKeep20Quid Thu 19-Sep-13 13:54:55

I'd hate to teachers trussed up in suits.

Most of the female teachers wear trousers, jeans (come on people, it's not 1950, jeans can be smart), nice tops, dresses, long tops and leggings and pumps or boots. Never seen anything too tight, low or short.

OutragedFromLeeds Thu 19-Sep-13 13:55:31

I think teachers should dress in line with dress code of the school. If the kids need to be in shirts, ties, logo jumpers etc. they should also be smart.

If the school has no uniform then teachers in jeans is fine imo.

DC1's teacher wears leggings as trousers, with just a short top. We can see her pants. It does not look good. She's lovely though.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Thu 19-Sep-13 13:55:44

Yes, I care. Clean, professional, not too much flesh showing. Teachers should reflect the ethos of the school in their teaching, behaviour and dress.

If I met a teacher falling out of a nightclub on a Saturday night in a microdress I wouldn't bat an eyelid, but in school would be a different matter.

I don't really care as long, I think they should dress in whatever is practical for the job, no problem with denim or tattoos, as long as the cloths are clean, im more concerned with their teaching, mind you I don't like uniform for kids, am so glad my daughter is at 6th form college now, where the only rule they have is no underwear on display.

HarrietIsHistory Thu 19-Sep-13 13:57:10

I'm a teacher in a secondary and I think it does matter, I think it can set the tone for the school. As I am in a secondary, rather than early years with less kneeling on the floor, I dress professionally and quite formally.

At my DC primary the teachers, even the EY teacher, dress smart in tailored trousers and a blouse but with more practical, flat shoes on.

teacher123 Thu 19-Sep-13 13:57:50

In my current job with tinies I spend most of the day sitting on the floor, so need to wear comfy trousers/leggings to ensure that I don't flash my pants to the world. In my old job teaching seniors I used to have to make sure I didn't accidentally flash my boobs (bending down over desks for example) but used to be able to wear skirts as I never had to sit on the floor. I think you should have to be smart-ish, the kids have to be!

HairyGrotter Thu 19-Sep-13 13:59:11

As a parent, I don't care.

Lj8893 Thu 19-Sep-13 14:00:58

I think as long as they look clean and tidy and not too much flesh on display then its fine.

Some teachers may feel comfortable wearing suits etc and that's fine but if someone feels more comfortable expressing abit of individuality, then as long as its in a professional manner then that's also fine.

I would have struggled to take my drama teacher seriously if she was in a suit tbh. She was very individual in a bit of a creative hippy way and IMO it added to her brilliant, creative teaching. Same applied to my art teacher.

mrsjay Thu 19-Sep-13 14:04:37

DD2 is in high school and some of her teachers look like students they are soo young sigh I do not think it matters a jot how teachers dress as long as they look clean smart and jeans can look smart, the teachers at their primary was a bit more conventionally dressed but they had teachers and T As with coloured hair piercings and a few tattoos , a teacher can teach and be trendy imo

HistoryNut1595 Thu 19-Sep-13 14:04:56

I don't think that it really matters too much in primary school as long as it isn't too revealing.

The converse for different days of the week is an awesome idea!

mummytime Thu 19-Sep-13 14:04:56

At secondary if they are going to be strict on Uniform then the teachers should be reasonably smart. In my experience most teachers dressed reasonably. Not necessarily a suit, but pretty smart.

At DCs primary there have been times I've wanted to ask the female staff to put their cleavage away (it doesn't look professional, and does do year 6 boys favours). Sensiblish shoes should be worn too, I don't know how teachers can be active in some shoes I've seen.

Foxred10 Thu 19-Sep-13 14:05:14

Yes I do care. Children at DS1's prep have a really smart uniform and as a minimum I would expect female teachers to wear tidy trousers / skirt / dress (not blue jeans, but coloured or dark ok) with tops of arms covered and non-trainer shoes. For men I would expect tidy trousers and a shirt, but not a tie or jacket unless they felt like it.

I think when you are doing a professional job (whatever that may be) you should look tidy and well put together. As a caveat I do think PE teachers and Art teachers have a bit more leeway!

thebody Thu 19-Sep-13 14:05:23

so agree teenagetantrums.

can't wait until last child heads to college. costed us a bloody fortune in suits for my lads in the 6th form. complete waste of money as both went straight to uni and wore jeans for 3 years.

dds won't be staying in school 6 th form for this reason as we really can't afford/ support this ridiculous office type dress code while they arnt earning to pay for it.

the college next to the school poaches the kids.

clean, tidy no sex bits on show.. great. results are the main thing.

siratt Thu 19-Sep-13 14:13:14

As long as veils are banned, everyone else can wear what they like.

MiaowTheCat Thu 19-Sep-13 14:23:29

I generally lived in a smart jumper and black stretchy trousers, but I was buggered if I was wearing anything smarter than that to work with infant aged kids. Used to take my nose piercing out too so as not to scare the parents away, but that was stupid really since I lived in catchment so most kids had seen me with it in at the local shops or whatever.

WowOoo Thu 19-Sep-13 14:24:56

If it's a primary school where the children are expected to look smart in their uniform, I'd expect the teachers and staff to look professional also.

As others have said, it all depends on the kind of school.

I know a music teacher who visits schools - she dresses in a highly individual way grin but still manages to look smart and has an air of confidence and authority about her. (think it's her great posture also)

BrigitBigKnickers Thu 19-Sep-13 14:26:19

We have had reminders about this recently.

The day after 30 degree temperatures where a few staff had come in smart long shorts and strappy tops...

I usually wear a standard pair of black or beige tailored trousers and a smartish top. In the summer I might wear a pair of tailored crop trousers with a lighter top.

One of the teachers I worked with (before the uniform policy) wore low cut trousers that often displayed her bright pink thong!- She was very popular with the year 6 boys!)

We expect our pupils to look smart so it would be a bit off if the staff were scruffy. I take the point that a teacher for littlies would need to wear something practical though because of sitting on the floor/ painting/ messy stuff etc..

SummerRain Thu 19-Sep-13 14:28:04

Couldn't give a damn. One of the teachers is young and dresses very casually, lots of hoodies and jeans. She looks great and the kids love her. Why should she have to dress up to teach a roomful of primary students?!

EssexGurl Thu 19-Sep-13 14:28:16

If school has uniform then I expect staff to also be smart. Dress codes save a lot of problems by setting out expectations up front.

LazyMonkeyButler Thu 19-Sep-13 14:30:45

As a parent of 3, I couldn't care less what my DCs teachers wear. DS2's class teacher throughout Years 5 & 6 turned up most days in a tracksuit & trainers (and no, he wasn't the PE teacher).

Some parents judged, some even complained, I didn't care confused.

Panzee Thu 19-Sep-13 14:30:56

I make sure I've got a fairly sturdy high neck vest on, long or short leggings on under skirts, and a haramaki on if wearing trousers. Making sure no flesh or underwear can escape! I tend not to wear jeans but don't really go for über smart either. I used to work with SEBD children so got into the habit of wearing practical clothes and being securely covered up for dealing with escapees or restraining. grin

mrsjay Thu 19-Sep-13 14:31:25

saying what I did there is one teacher that ive known since dd1 was in secondary and i really want her to put her cleavage away it is huge and very in your face very distracting I couldnt take my eyes off it one parents evening grin

Fuzzysnout Thu 19-Sep-13 14:31:31

The dress code you describe sounds highly reasonable. To be respected as a professional you do need to adhere to some professional standards. As long as any recommended attire allows you to do your job well (different clothing is suitable depending on age and stage of pupils) then smartening up gives a good impression to pupils and parents alike.

Ragwort Thu 19-Sep-13 14:33:43

I agree that teachers should dress in a professional and practical manner - it is not appropriate to show thong underwear (as I have seen grin), low cut tops, etc etc. If pupils are expected to dress smartly then how can teachers reinforce this if they are dressed inappropriately themselves.

Tailtwister Thu 19-Sep-13 14:37:41

I like them to be dressed fairly smartly, much as you describe OP. I don't see any reason for teachers to wear denim, it's not hard to find a pair of trousers. I don't expect them to wear suits, but something along the lines of what we would call 'business casual'.

fluffyraggies Thu 19-Sep-13 14:38:54

thebody - my dd 14 was most aggrieved last night as her Spanish teacher told her her skirt was too short. she added 'I wouldn't mind but she dressed like a right old prostitute'

DD3 had the exact same thing last year. (Well, actually the teachers problem with DD was that her trousers were too tight, not her skirt was too short.)

DD went on to explain that Miss X was constantly on a witch hunt for girls. Trousers showing VPL, skirt must be to the shin, top button must be done up, lace up brogues only (not even black ballet style pumps) and NO lip gloss.

All of this i have no problem with - but she herself wore tottery heels, skin tight short skirts with a side split up her thigh and her blouse undone so far you could see down to her bra!

I was sceptical until i actually saw the woman one parents evening. She looked like a french hooker! Rest of the staff were smartly dressed. Not all in suits, but dressed in a style that seemed to show a little respect to their position and their pupils.

justmyview Thu 19-Sep-13 14:39:48

Dress code described by OP sounds fine to me. Important to look professional if you want to be taken seriously. I wouldn't like piercings & tattoos on display. I know that's not a v popular viewpoint on MN

MrsOakenshield Thu 19-Sep-13 14:39:59

I think if there is a strict uniform policy for pupils then it's only right and fair the same should extend to the staff. If you believe that uniform has a positive effect on children's behaviour and outcomes, then presumably the same could be said for staff - that they will be respected and more authoritative than if they were casual and down-with-the-kids.

Not saying I believe that, just that the two seem to go hand in hand.

DragonsAreReal Thu 19-Sep-13 14:41:32

I really disliked my ds reception teacher showing her thongs and wearing leggings abit to see through sometimes. I say tht as someone who wears thongs and wears leggings.

gobbledegook1 Thu 19-Sep-13 14:42:10

I couldn't care less what they wear provided its not too revealing (doesn't make them look like a hooker) and doesn't contain offensive slogans (including swearing and nudity). I'm all for individuality and care more about the standard of their teaching.

steppemum Thu 19-Sep-13 14:42:48

simple answer - no I don't care what they wear, only if they are a good teacher.

But I would assume that they would be appropriately dressed, no thongs/ cleavage showing, or skinny tight mini skirts.
dd1 teacher in year 2 was fab, totally amazing lady in hippie draped tops over leggings with long purple hair with sometimes red streaks. I actually loved the fact that she looked 'alternative'

mrsjay Thu 19-Sep-13 14:43:24

wny would anybody show their pants especially teachers hmm i have a thong phobia they do my head in when i see them hanging out the back of trousers

bigbluebus Thu 19-Sep-13 14:46:32

I too subscribe to 'professionals' dressing like 'professionals'. That doesn't necessarily mean a suit - unless you are the HT in a Primary or HT/Deputy in a Secondary school - in which case I think a suit for a man and smart business wear for a woman is a given. But appropriate smart wear - not dressing like you would to slouch on the sofa at the weekend. No wonder people report on here that youngsters turn up for job interviews inappropriately dressed. My DS has on more than one occasion been asked to wear 'business wear' to go to events off the school premises, instead of the school uniform of polo shirt and sweatshirt. So if that is the expectation of the children, then it should be how the teachers dress too. I appreciate that primary teachers can get messy when working with small children, but just buy washable smart clothing and not Dry-clean only. No big deal.

And I don't think this should just apply to teachers either. I go to lots of meetings with LA and Healthcare professionals, as a parent. I have lost count of the number of times I have come away from those meetings thinking "what a scruffy bunch" . I'm afraid I can't take them seriously in their professional role if they are not dressed smartly - especially if I am dressed more 'business like' than them. I'm not one to dress up most of the time, but if going to a meeting, I think it shows respect to dress accordingly.

AmandaPandtheNightmareMonsters Thu 19-Sep-13 14:47:29

I don't care about tattoos or alternative clothing. I would expect the clothing to be professional and not too revealing though. I don't think banning very short skirts, strappy tops, etc is out of order. It is a work and learning environment and my children are expected to look smart, so I think teachers should follow suit.

I once had a boss who used to say (about our casual dress code) that if you would wear it to go clubbing, to garden or to the beach you should think twice about whether it was right for work. I thought that wasn't a bad rule of thumb!

DameDeepRedBetty Thu 19-Sep-13 14:52:32

If headteachers and boards of governors had to crawl around on the floor with the Infants and get covered with paint glue glitter mud and all the other things that size child is magnetically attracted to, perhaps we would see the end of the utter craziness of uniform for small children.

And if my dtds are expected to spend the day wearing a sticky synthetic blazer which looks like it cost £5 on a market stall but actually cost nearer £40 as you can only get it from the school, then I expect their teachers to do the same. Especially the Head, who I spotted in his office in shirtsleeves one day last term three days before finally allowing his unfortunate pupils to do the same. angry

I think teachers can wear whatever they like so long as it doesn't provoke wet dreams in adolescent boys and girls (or their parents) - and children should be allowed to wear what they find most comfortable, as long as it is also practical and safe.

Canthisonebeused Thu 19-Sep-13 14:56:00

One of dds teachers always has her tits bursting out of her top, that bothers me slightly but other than that I don't really notice what they wear.

Saffyz Thu 19-Sep-13 14:58:40

The dress code sounds fine to me.

NomDeOrdinateur Thu 19-Sep-13 15:01:04

I like the "can't see up it, down it, or through it" rule, and agree that clothes should be clean, ironed (where appropriate) and in good repair. Things like hair colour, piercings, and tattoos really shouldn't come under judgment, IMO - great teachers generally will be somewhat unusual types (in how they act and/or dress), and I prefer to see learning environments where diversity and harmless self-expression are modeled by adults.

The headmistress of my primary school was an amazing female role model and an exceptional educator, IMO, who ran a very tight ship and was extremely well respected. She always wore eyeliner, a Patsy Stone-esque updo, and a suit that could have been worn on-stage by Chrissie Hynde with a Rolling Stones/other rock band tshirt underneath. <Outs self to anybody who lived in catchment...>

sparkle12mar08 Thu 19-Sep-13 15:23:50

I'd prefer not to have to see tattoos, cleavage or camel toes, but otherwise I can't get too worked up about the type of clothes and fabrics they use to cover said parts. Not a big fan of facial piercings either it must be said.

littleducks Thu 19-Sep-13 15:29:16

I really dislike leggings and waist length tops, especially if they bend or crouch down (primary) and show underwear.

A but scruffy or eccentric bothered me less

larry5 Thu 19-Sep-13 16:19:27

Dd has just started a PGCE and was told by the Deputy Head of one of the schools she could be placed in that the sixth form all wear suits so the staff are expected to dress smartly. We then had to go and look for a jacket to go with the black trousers and skirt that she already has.

RoonilWazlibWuvsHermyown Thu 19-Sep-13 16:23:17

I wouldn't be bothered what my children's teacher wore as long as it was decent so that no one felt awkward. When I was volunteering in a local primary, the teacher wore low cut vest tops almost every day. She had large breasts and every time she bent over to look at a child's work, they'd almost fall out of her top. I could imagine that would make some children and some other members of staff feel awkward. I like that "can't see up it down it through it" rule! I think its nice though if the teacher looks comfortable in what they are wearing (scruffy or smart) because they seem more approachable like that.

quoteunquote Thu 19-Sep-13 16:24:11

Nope I care not one jot how any of my children's teachers dress, (I would object to them covering their face). But as long as they are good at their job then I am happy.

usualsuspect Thu 19-Sep-13 16:26:16


Prissyknickers Thu 19-Sep-13 16:27:43

This thread just reminded of when ds1 (now 20) was in reception . His teacher was wearing a vest type top and he told me " Mum when Miss X bends down I can see her lungs!" grin

oscarwilde Thu 19-Sep-13 16:28:44

Welcome to the world outside teaching. Tedious isn't it?

grovel Thu 19-Sep-13 16:30:37

At Eton the teachers wear the same as the boys (well, a short jacket for teachers rather than tailcoats for the boys). Quirky but it seems to work.

motherinferior Thu 19-Sep-13 16:31:59


Though I am deeply cheered by DD1's form tutor who wears staggeringly high heels. She is a dance teacher. I do admire Miss X. She is no stranger to the short skirt either.

thebody Thu 19-Sep-13 16:33:47

fluffy, do our girls go to the same school? grin

oh for sense to break out in education I have that dream.

reception class TA. we have 40 new 4 year olds. we dress them exactly the same and then spend the rest of the year dodging irate parents who cannot seem to grasp the fact that if things arnt labelled we don't know where 'little maisys' school coat is as they all look the BLOODY SAME!!!!

Poledra Thu 19-Sep-13 16:38:02


Though I long to know where one of our teachers buys her clothes - she has some lovely unusual long jumpers and tunics that she wears with leggings and I wants one!

macskater Thu 19-Sep-13 16:44:05

Teachers are, by nature and necessity, creative people and should be allowed to dress accordingly and I would always oppose dress codes. It is interesting for pupils to observe different outfits and styles. If all teachers dressed in Next suits the world of education would be duller. Having said that, an individual who is incapable of judging what is appropriate in a professional sense should be given guidance by the Headteacher. I agree with all the above re personal hygiene and cleanliness.

oscarwilde Thu 19-Sep-13 16:44:17

I work in the City and your dress code is our "summer dress down". An external saleswoman turned up to a meeting over the summer wearing a business suit and long dangly earrings and afterwards everyone in the meeting from our side, spontaneously said "err - what was with the earrings?" So it's a beyond conservative environment.

I don't really care per se but if the school has a strict uniform code for the children, then the staff dress code should reflect that. Otherwise it's just plain bizarre and just breeds resentment with the kids. Denim for all on Jeans for Genes day and so on.
Wearing overtly sexual or revealing clothing is really unprofessional when working with children but teenagers in particular imo.
Tattoos/piercings - rightly or wrongly you will be judged for these. If you wish to appear to be a serious, credible teacher they will need to be minimised.
Scruffy clothes - as in torn or falling apart. Again represent an image of someone who doesn't care and is unprofessional imo.

TyrannosaurusBex Thu 19-Sep-13 16:44:25

Some of the teachers where I work wear short, flared skirts - two or three regularly have their pants on show when they bend down. I've often thought about saying something.

Yes I would like to see teachers dress in a businesslike and professional manner.
I cringe at some of the ones at secondary school.
There should never be any doubt in your mind as to whether the adult is a member of staff or not.

poshfrock Thu 19-Sep-13 16:53:27

My brother is a science teacher - he wears Next suits. From those in the know his lessons are anything but dull. In fact his lessons are very popular with all his students. And he was rated outstanding in his last Ofsted.

On the other hand my DSD's Spanish teacher regularly turned up to school with a nose piercing. When DSD demanded a nose piercing at 13 we turned her down for several reasons including "you won't be able to wear it at school". Very difficult to enforce when one of her teachers wears it every day - including at parents' evening!

FTR I have body piercings and I'm a lawyer but they are never on display in the office. Not even my colleagues know that I have them, let alone my clients, and I intend to keep it that way.

EstelleGetty Thu 19-Sep-13 16:59:26

Interesting thread! My DSis volunteers in a primary school for children with ASN and mobility issues. She has lots of tattoos, but none on show, and takes her nose ring out for school.

She tends to wear a pretty knee length jersey dress, or skirt and top. She looks young, bright and friendly. She has to do a lot of running about, so something more rigid (like a blouse and pencil skirt) wouldn't work.

Her hair is dyed pink and she used to wear a hairpiece to cover it up but she met the HT one day who said it was great and the kids would love it, so she needn't cover it up! And the kids do love it.

hellymelly Thu 19-Sep-13 17:00:33

I would care if she looked as though she was doing a shift at Spearmint Rhino, but other than that she can wear what she likes. My dds are in Primary school, so it is important that the teacher is comfortable to be active with the children.

claraschu Thu 19-Sep-13 17:04:20

I guess I prefer comfortable, cheerful looking teachers, but I don't care what people wear actually. Why are people so obsessed with appearances?

Everyone knows who the good teachers are, and everyone respects them for what they do.

starfishmummy Thu 19-Sep-13 17:17:14

There was a nursery nurse at ds's special school.who dressed like she was going out on the pull. Short skirts, plunging necklinestimable and glitter type fabrics. Its a special school so disabled kids who need lifting, bottoms changing etc so it didn't seem ideal.

TooExtraImmatureCheddar Thu 19-Sep-13 17:19:09

I would prefer teachers to show a bit of personality. Yes to the rule of 'can't see up it, through it or down it', though. Apart from that, I wouldn't care. I don't mind tattoos, piercings or pink hair, either. (Unless the tattoo in question is a tramp stamp, but that's because you shouldn't be able to see a tramp stamp under appropriate clothes.)

NoComet Thu 19-Sep-13 17:43:14

Until school uniform is consigned to the dustbin of history, where it belongs, teachers need to be slightly smart.

It is very disrespectful to wear, jeans, vest tops, very short skirts, trainers or sky high heels while bleating on and on at the DCs about top buttons, ties, skirt length and making them wear formal shoes they hate and their parents don't want to pay for.

Personally the only outfit, our teachers had I genuinely disapproved of was a maxi dress. It really was more sutible for the beach, especially in a primary with steeps in the main corridor, where she or any of the DCs could have stood on it.

The only uniform rule I did agree with was no very long gypsy skirts (which were fashionable and I loved) in school.
Both my junior and senior schools were built into hills, with steps all over the place.

parkin2010 Thu 19-Sep-13 18:10:56

I am a secondary school teacher- I wouldn't be impressed if my bank manager dressed in a scruffy way and have littke faith in them. Kids have a lot more respect for you when you dress smartly, just as they are expected to do themselves. The ones who looked like they'd arrived in threadbare clothes or with their dinner splashed down their fronts where the ones we messed around for at school. It's not hard to look smart.

primarymonkeyhanger Thu 19-Sep-13 18:16:41

I teach y1 and I agree with the dress code but it should also be comfortable and easy to move in. I always err on the side if caution with vests under tops and leggings worn as tights. Dresses always below knee length or thick leggings if slightly above the knee.Parents always compliment me if I wear a dress of skirt or a colourful top. I do look rather casual at times wearing black/navy skinny jeans or skinny cords.I wouldn't dream of wearing heels and usually wear converse or slip on pumps.
My major gripe is people who wear shirts but don't iron them, so scruffy. Or tops that ride up, for this very reason all mine must be past bum length!
Tatoos and piercings are a no no as is too much slap.

AmandaPandtheNightmareMonsters Thu 19-Sep-13 18:23:38

Primary- that sounds very smart and sensible for year one. My Dd's reception teacher seems to mostly wear leggings or skinnies with long tops and I think that is very appropriate and practical for the age group.

AmandaPandtheNightmareMonsters Thu 19-Sep-13 18:24:29

Sorry, that was in response to you saying you look rather casual at times.

catgirl1976 Thu 19-Sep-13 18:28:11

Up to a point

I have no issues with tattoos or piercings or hair colour but I think teachers should be clean and smart and dressed in professional, office attire

Not really, I don't care any further than "Oh look, Miss Teacher has got trackies on, it must be PE this morning"

But then DD1's two teachers so far have both been blonde visions of loveliness, especially the angelic reception teacher. They tend towards dresses/trousers and tops with ballet pumps or boots depending on weather.

thebody Thu 19-Sep-13 18:38:26

it does breed resentment though amongst teens if teachers wear arse skimming skirts and then have the bloody cheek to pull up my dd on her skirt length.

I wouldn't mind but the laugh is she's an old piece of mutton who shouldn't and dd is, of course, stunning!!

ban uniforms for all.

lets be beautiful individuals not sheep as long as we are clean, smell nice and cover up the sex organs.

HappyMummyOfOne Thu 19-Sep-13 18:40:29

I think practical for primary so top and trousers and smarter for secondary. No wild hair colours or tattoos on display and neat and tidy.

treas Thu 19-Sep-13 18:42:14

Dd's art teacher would be classed as a Bohemian dresser with her long flowing shirts and tops and looks lovely.

The school's reception teacher always manages to wear clothing emblazoned with the D&G logo which I find teeth grindingly annoying - mind you to be fair that's probably more to do with her being a snotty caa who thinks she's above everyone including the HT

motherinferior Thu 19-Sep-13 18:46:32

I want teachers who are fizzy, enthusiastic, good teachers who fire up my kids to learn their subject. I do not give a flying fandango about how they're dressed. Actually I can't remember how most of them are dressed. I know DD1's science teacher wears - shock horror - jeans to work. As he is the head of science and is a charismatic, dedicated teacher whose class love him to bits, I rather think that is more important than if he's crammed himself into a suit.

Bonsoir Thu 19-Sep-13 18:47:49

I prefer my DCs' teachers to show some personality. If that is through the way they dress, so be it. The better dressed teachers tend to have generally higher standards across the board.

thebody Thu 19-Sep-13 18:48:01

exactly MIF..

parkin2010 Thu 19-Sep-13 18:50:45

Bloody hell check out my spelling of were. Oh dear. It's been a loooooong day, I will throw my suit away and hang my head in shame! smile

Pachacuti Thu 19-Sep-13 18:58:43

I care up to a point. I would prefer not to see teachers of either gender in spangly hotpants, for example. I think teachers should be dressed comfortably in clean clothes that are reasonably presentable, I suppose; personally I wouldn't be bothered by tattoos (so long as they were correctly spelled grin)/denim/strappy tops.

FredFredGeorge Thu 19-Sep-13 18:58:44

I wouldn't care what the teachers wore, however if the school enforced a uniform code that was distinctly different from the teachers clothes then I would have a lot of difficulty with the school.

So if there's no uniform, or it's any trousers and a polo shirt / sweatshirt then anything is okay, if it's ties and blazer then the teachers have to be similar. There are enough double standards within schools and the rights not given to children to add further ones with uniform is just wrong.

sparklekitty Thu 19-Sep-13 19:05:08

I think it depends on primary or secondary. As a primary teacher I like to look a bit individual, I, however don't show too much flesh (a highish wide strapped vest top on hot days) I do show some of my tattoos off, ones on my wrist and foot in the summer when I'm wearing pumps. They are very inoffensive am the kids like looking at them. Think it's important for children to see lots of different styles, it shows were all different and that's a good thing.

I guess secondary teachers should be a bit smarter as the children are expected to be a bit smarter

Nadienoo Thu 19-Sep-13 19:13:45

My DDs school is quite smart... Teachers dress smartly... DD2's had on a pretty red jumper dress and leggings today... DD1's teacher has purple hair and a chin length bob...

As long as they aren't dressed like they are out for a night on the tiles I don't really mind, as long as they are good teachers...

EvilTwins Thu 19-Sep-13 19:15:06

I'm a secondary Performing Arts teacher. I dress smartly - usually a dress/jacket type outfit. I do wear fabulous shoes though.

We did a survey with the kids last ear about effective teaching. Interestingly, the vast majority thought that teachers who dressed smartly were better teachers (they actually said that) Most at my school are smart, but there is the odd one or two (women) who look like they've pulled on the first thing they found on the floor. And one young English teacher who dresses like she's going on the pull. She's got a lovely figure though...

I do have to careful with necklines - I'm large of nork and don't want to be flashing a room full of hormonal teenage boys.

LynetteScavo Thu 19-Sep-13 19:15:15

One HT at my DCs school obviously insisted that the teachers wear suits for parents evening. It was ridiculous IMO. He wasn't a popular HT, and the OFSTED while he was there was rubbish. He didn't last long.

I think strappy tops are OK if you wear a suitable bra, and are youngish. Better than V-necks which seem popular with large-breasted middle aged KS1 teachers, who let it all hang out when they bend down to the children.

I think if the school had a uniform, then teachers should have a dress code.

Has anyone mentioned teachers in Uggs, yet?

LynetteScavo Thu 19-Sep-13 19:17:59

I'm not keen on male teachers, especially in primary school, in a suit and tie. I think shirt and trousers is the way to go. HT's who spend their day in the office can wear a tie, I'll allow that...but no comedy ones.

bundaberg Thu 19-Sep-13 19:18:16

no, i don't care what my children's teachers wear.
i mean, if one of them turned up in a gimp suit or something I might have a problem with that. but in general, no.

Canthisonebeused Thu 19-Sep-13 19:26:03

I think the school and the local demographic makes a difference of. My dds school a fairly small town, not lots of deprivation, teachers dress fairly formal to smart casual. However I have worked in inner city deprived areas and the teachers tended to dress far more modestly in terms of being casual. Some jeans etc but I think that does help with approachability and connectedness, if parents were to feel inferior or intimidated by the way teachers dress.

MissRainbow Thu 19-Sep-13 19:34:56

Thinking about how teachers dress, I had a secondary school teacher who used to wear the normal skirt suits, but always had the most amazing hair and shoes...

nextyearitsbigschool Thu 19-Sep-13 19:38:38

I expect teachers to look professional as they are in a professional role. In our school they all look well dressed but casual: trousers and a smart top, jersey dress and leggings - don't think that they need to be in a suit but they do need to look like they have made an effort. I am afraid that I wouldn't take a teacher seriously in jeans and a hoody, it's not hard or expensive to look smart casual. The male teachers wear smart trousers, ties and jumpers.

Snowballed Thu 19-Sep-13 19:38:59

Dds make teacher(yr 2) is an indie style dresser with a guitar. He's a fab teacher and the kids love him.

Doesn't bother me at all. Would far rather concentrate on his teaching skills and interaction with the kids smile

Blackberrybakewell Thu 19-Sep-13 19:54:00

I work in a secondary school. I agree with most posts that teachers should be fairly smart. Trousers, shirts and ties for the men, jacket not a necessity. Trousers and smart, not too low cut tops, smart dresses and skirts for the women. Doesn't have to be formal workwear for the women, a line skirts and wrap dresses are fine. Clothes shouldn't detract from the lessons, the teacher dressing smartly sets both an example and the tone for the classroom environment.

Not fine is veeeeeery clingy jersey skirts and dresses which mean I can literally see the outline of your arse cheeks. Yes, I am thinking of a specific teacher. Bleugh I am not at all jealous that the arse cheeks in question are distinctly perter than my own

But also the blanket dress code shouldn't count for all support staff e.g. mere technicians like me. I have to wear the same smart gear as the teachers but I have a physical and messy job that would be much easier if I could wear jeans and trainers.

TattyDevine Thu 19-Sep-13 19:55:03

Ours wear dresses, stockings, shoes (but not silly total mega stilettos), leggings and tunics, jacket and dress, trousers and school hoodie, that kind of thing. Not seen a tattoo. One has thick eyeliner and false eyelashes but is young so it sort of looks okay and she's not "tarty" or "Essex" in any other way (no cleavage and stuff) - sorry if that sounds wrong! Or sexist!

I actually work at the school too (though not for much longer) and they don't like excessive cleavage (so if you are larger of bust you have to be slightly careful what top you choose - you can't' spill out) and strappy tops/camis or anything that might give builders bum or torso flash in a moment of leaning over or running or attending to a child is a no-no, but we hardly have to dress as matrons either. I got told off for wearing what they thought were flip flops, but when I showed my line manager they had a back strap and were simply toe post sandals but properly fitted to my feet with ankle straps, that was fine.

I think teachers should be able to be comfortable, warm/cool, individual, but semi conventional, depending on the school setting - i.e if a child can't have 3 toned hair perhaps the teacher shouldn't - I'm not actually against that kind of individuality though but it doesn't tend to go on in my school.

Blackberrybakewell Thu 19-Sep-13 19:55:14

My post referred to secondary school, I agree primary is a different and altogether more casual and messy kettle of fish.

HometownUnicorn Thu 19-Sep-13 20:00:11

i don't care if they are dressed smartly or more casually, as long as they look able to muck in with whatever is required (infant school). I wouldn't be bothered by jeans or trainers, but would raise an eyebrow at towering heels, or a top struggling to contain a heaving bosom.

I couldn't care less what the teachers are wearing. They could be dressed in Disney princess dresses/buzz lightyear costumes for all I care.

I suspect it's very much 'business casual' at DS1's exam factory but I can't seem to get to meet any of the teachers to verify this. I can honestly say that what staff at DS2's school are wearing has not even registered with me.

MidniteScribbler Thu 19-Sep-13 20:46:06

I'm a primary school teacher - My usual dress is long loose slacks (I get them made for me out of a fabric that is a bit of a slinky fabric so it never creases) in a variety of different colours, and a short sleeved shirt. I really hate long sleeves and can't work in them as effectively. I always have a black jacket thrown over the back of my chair if I have to attend a meeting. In summer, I have been known to wear crop pants and a nice shirt. I'm fairly physical in my teaching, the students are moving around the classroom a lot, and I'm often sitting on the floor with them so something that I can move around a lot in is a must. A business suit just would not work in primary school. We do get to high 30s here in summer, and it's a beachside town in Australia, so a little more casual than our sister schools in the city tend to dress. Piercings (other than earrings) and tattoos must be covered is our only real dress code, but everyone else tends to wear similiar to me, so not something we've had a problem with. We do dress more formally (suits etc) when doing parent-teacher conferences or school functions.

cathers Thu 19-Sep-13 21:00:17

I think as long as teachers look clean and they don't flash bits with low tops, tight trousers, they should be able to wear anything. It seems a bit ott to be wear suits, jackets etc.

Methe Thu 19-Sep-13 21:08:17

I couldn't give a toss what they are wearing. In 5 years I an honestly say I've never noticed what a teacher has had on.

As long as they are wearing something I don't think it matters a jot what it is!

Retroformica Thu 19-Sep-13 22:04:39

I wouldn't care if you were wearing a banana skin on your head and a bin bag. If my children were blossoming in your class, is be happy. I'd see your clothes as an expression of your personality and I'm all for individuality. Our school uniform is very relaxed, we like it that way.

Golferman Thu 19-Sep-13 22:26:28

The female class teacher at one of my grandson's primary is stunning and wears quite short skirts and low tops. I have never seen so many men who are enthusiastically picking up their kids. grin

JoinYourPlayfellows Thu 19-Sep-13 22:27:57

I do not care.

colourmehappytheresasofainhere Thu 19-Sep-13 22:48:22

Agree with lots said on here. Cleavage breast or bum, is a total no.

mehimandthegirls Thu 19-Sep-13 23:08:30

If the children have to dress smart then so do the teachers.

MrsSchadenfreude Thu 19-Sep-13 23:15:30

A teacher at the DDs' international primary school used to dress like a hooker - see through top, black or red bra, fanny pelmet skirt, ripped tights and fuck me shoes. She was a good teacher, but not popular with the mothers.

Jellybeanz1 Thu 19-Sep-13 23:17:37

I swear my old junior school teacher wore the same turquoise crimpolene skirt suit for 6 years. When I was browsing Friends Reunited there she was in a photo (another 10 years) on in the same suit.

JoinYourPlayfellows Thu 19-Sep-13 23:33:53

"Cleavage breast or bum, is a total no."

What's wrong with breast cleavage?

TheFallenNinja Thu 19-Sep-13 23:37:14

Smart and business like is my preference.

A smart appearance is like a suit of armour for my money.

SomeTeaPlease Thu 19-Sep-13 23:37:36

Teachers should abide by the school's dress code at the very least. If the school doesn't allow jeans for students, then teachers shouldn't wear jeans either.

However, if the dress code is casual, then I see no problem with teachers wearing jeans. Plenty of my teachers wore jeans, and quite a few of my professors at uni wear jeans as well. It doesn't change the quality of their teaching.

I don't think it's appropriate to wear just leggings, or have undergarments showing, etc.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Thu 19-Sep-13 23:40:32

Infants/Juniors - casual, comfortable. Preferably thongs not on show though smile

Seniors - a bit more dressy if the pupils are expected to be dressed 'smart'.

JoinYourPlayfellows Fri 20-Sep-13 00:02:47

"Teachers should abide by the school's dress code at the very least."

Grown women dressed in school uniform?

Now we ARE getting porny grin

PinkSippyCup Fri 20-Sep-13 00:30:04

I'm a primary teacher. Our dress code is smart casual. Jeans are allowed as long as they are smart with no rips etc.

I usually wear jeans and converse with smartish tops. As long as my jeans pass the 'sit on the floor without showing my bum crack' test then I'll wear them grin

MidniteScribbler Fri 20-Sep-13 01:23:53

Every so often at our school we talk about having a staff uniform. Nothing fancy, just black trousers/slacks and a polo shirt in school colours with the logo embroidered, and a dress shirt for more formal events. I'd have no issues with that at all. There are actually quite a few schools out here starting to take on staff uniforms now.

BelaLugosisShed Fri 20-Sep-13 08:24:33

My DD has just started teaching in a high school, she has to wear a suit-type jacket at all times outside the classroom, as the kids have to wear blazers then this is fair enough imo.
She has tattooed feet and feels it's appropriate to wear thick black tights to cover them up and has toned her make up and hair/nails right down, she said she'd feel hypocritical telling girls off for too much make up and jewellery otherwise.

BumbleChum Fri 20-Sep-13 08:33:59

The kids wear uniform at our school so I think it's appropriate for teachers to look professional. Very short skirts, visible cleavage/chest-hair (depending on gender...), tattoos on show aren't professional, they're for your social life IMO. You can have a bit of style (or not, as you choose) and wear comfortable clothing within those parameters.

funkybuddah Fri 20-Sep-13 09:53:29

I don't care how staff are dressed as long as boobs bum and belly are covered (so no builders bums or ill fitting shirts etc)

There is a certain level ie no onsies but teaching ability is more important to me.

but I do get that if the children have to be smart the adults should be too (it just wouldnt bother me if teacher turned up in jeans trainers etc)

as for covering tattoos, unless they are rude again not bothered

LimburgseVlaai Fri 20-Sep-13 10:06:54

I don't really care about what the teachers wear, same as most people on here: as long as the vital bits are covered and they are clean/not smelly that's fine. I don't really mind about tattoos and piercings either.

What does bother me a bit is when female teachers/TAs are caked in makeup or overly orange, and I also hate males (teachers or otherwise) smelling strongly of aftershave. I just don't like the idea of children thinking this is normal and/or attractive. But that's only my personal hang-up, I know I am being inconsistent, and I wouldn't want to see a good teacher reprimanded for this.

goldopals Fri 20-Sep-13 10:51:29

Teachers should be neat and tidy, but should dress as the school culture requires. I teach in a very small country school in Australia where students wear track pants, polo shirts and fleecy jumpers so teachers dress very casually. As long as we do not show boobs, bum or upper leg we can dress how we like.

In winter I wear skinny leg jeans (lots of different colours), nice top and a cardigan, or a dress with leggings and a cardigan. I usually wear knee high boots or bright purple Doc Martens. In summer I wear the same dresses with ballet flats and bare legs.

SeaSickSal Fri 20-Sep-13 11:04:27

The only real issue I have is that it shouldn't be distracting from what they are teaching or affecting their teaching.

So for example multi-coloured, hair, tattoos, piercings and brightly coloured clothes all together would be distraction.

Being really scruffy, eg tracksuit or cap, might give the children the impression the wearer has no authority and cause disruption.

So on a case by case really, but am not bothered about a few tattoos here and there.

ShadeofViolet Fri 20-Sep-13 11:13:40

DS's teacher (NQT) last year wore a see through white vest with a green bra underneath last year. It also didn't cover her belly so she kept having to yank it down. She was very sweet but a little clueless.

I agree though that in secondary's, where the onus is on the children following the uniform code, then staff should be smart.

Theas18 Fri 20-Sep-13 11:26:18

Only ever noticed when the Reception teacher had long glam nails at parents evening. Not sure how that fitted with hands on teaching of 4yr olds. But she did and Ok job ( though apparently they all saw her belly button jewel when she was putting up display boards LOL)

Other than that, dress for the work you do.Jeans/leggings (with a dress) are great for primary. DH teaches year 3 and wears cheap easy was trousers and a shirt/jumper. He gets sticky and sometime painty/gluey as they will grab him at times and say " please mum can I do X" LOL

Secondary- again don't mind. One of the girls school teachers has a natty line in intarsia sweaters a la Gyles Brandreth. Usually relevant to what's being taught too smile

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