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Teachers' dress code (or lack of one)

(133 Posts)
ProudNeathGirl Fri 28-Sep-12 23:28:48

DD (17) was sent home from sixth form earlier this week to change, because the coloured jeans she was wearing didn't comply with the dress code for sixth form students, which is "business dress"..
Fair enough - but the teacher who sent her home was wearing a beach type dress and denim jacket. Said teacher was today wearing leggings (also against rules for students).
Any kind of piercings apart from plain studs in the ear are also not allowed, but there is a student support manager lower down the school with five piercings in his face.

I don't think this is fair. AIBU?

marriedinwhite Sat 29-Sep-12 14:52:48

Entirely agree with *eviltwins*. Don't often but about this I do. Your dd broke the dress code so it was entirely right she was sent home. If staff are inappropriately dressed a dress code needs to be introduced. I wouldn't go in raging if I were you. Far more effective to write a very polite letter thanking them for making sure your daughter complies with the rules to which you and she signed up when you accepted the place and note that in your opinion you feel the girls would be more respectful of the rules if a better example was set by all staff and ask if the school might consider reviewing its professional dress code.

I do think teachers should be dressed professionally, not necessarily formally but be tidy, no flip flops, no leisurewear or flesh on show - or tattoos or piercings for that matter. IMO if people want to be treated like professionals they need to conduct themselves like professionals.

All teachers I have come across at secondary schools (and dd did two years at a state one) have been professionally turned out and in that I include leggings with a knee length dress and ballet flats, or cropped smart trousers and a nice top. We had a problem with how staff dressed at the very naice little cofe primary our children attended first. I really don't think it's appropriate to expect every four/five year old to wear a tie on a hot summer day when male staff are turning up in long short and t shirts and women staff in spaghetti straps, combats and flip flops. It may be an unpopular view but whether the teachers are adults or not there has to a degree of respect for all parties in any relationship whether it is adult/child or boss/subordinate.

lecce Sat 29-Sep-12 17:07:19

Extrospektiv For me, the way I dress has a fairly big impact on my state of mind. Suits in dull colours are just not me and I consider creativity to be a big part of my job and wearing clothes that seem so dull doesn't help me feel creative. Budget is also a huge factor - I am the sole wage-earner in my household and, imo, nothing looks cheaper than a cheap suit. I am smart and don't wear flip-flops, combats, spaghetti straps, though I do wear leggings with smart skirts/dresses sometimes.

I can assure you that my choice of clothing has never placed me in a compromising position - there is a huge middle-ground between 'dressing like a sodding bank manager' and wearing stuff that is at risk 'distracting' teenagers, as you suggest.

I certainly never meant to denigrate the clothes of my 6th formers. My point was they are young, fashionable and many of them are forced to spend the day looking like trianee Estate Agents - not a good look. Those of them who have discussed the dress code with me, and several of them have, say that they resent having to spend what little money they have (our school is in a deprived area) on stuff they don't like much and don't want to wear outside of school.

Not entirely sure what you mean about being able to see 'precious little professionalism' but if you are implying that I do not conduct myself with professionalism, I would really like to know what grounds you have for doing so.

BrianButterfield Sat 29-Sep-12 17:17:35

I think the financial aspect is unfair as well. Work wear is not cheap and can only be worn for school. And I agree that a cheap suit looks much worse than the equivalent casual clothing bought for the same price. Sixth formers in suits looks good in the prospectus and around town but I think sixth form is such a great point in your life when you can really find out who you are and what your style is that it's terrible to stifle that with polyester jackets.

marriedinwhite Sun 30-Sep-12 12:28:41

I will just mention that my son's school has formal suits for boys and girls for 6th form, and my daughter's school formal suits for girls in 6th form. None of them look cheap; they mostly look lovely. Buying my son a suit for the first time last year and seeing how wonderfully smart and grown up he looked brought a lump to my throat.

anewyear Sun 30-Sep-12 13:56:57

I work in a Pre-School.
We have a 'uniform'
Black trousers, 3/4 length acceptable, no jeans or leggings allowed
Black or White top, no cleavage showing or spagetti straps.
No opened toe shoes, or strappy shoes, trainers acceptable, mine are purple and black with purple and black laces the kids love them grin

The kids wear what they want..
although some wear the t-shirt and sweatshirt with our Pre-School logo.

MrsKeithRichards Sun 30-Sep-12 16:01:10

I don't get this notion that you need to be in a suit to look or indeed be professional! Madness.

MrsKeithRichards Sun 30-Sep-12 16:04:43

Oh and all your training or professionalism doesn't disappear when you get a piercing!

freerangeeggs Sun 30-Sep-12 16:38:14

This drives me mad. I'm an English teacher. Dress codes in schools are symptomatic of the worst type of micromanagement that goes on, especially in the new academies. Everyone is desperate to make a show of being 'professional', while actual teaching and learning is left by the wayside.

Fair enough in my own subject. I find it a bit of a bugger to teach creative writing in a sterile grey classroom to a bunch of eleven year olds in suits, but it's not too much of an issue I suppose. It's the DT and Art teachers I feel sorry for - ties and power tools?? Paint and suit jackets?? Stupid.

Surely part of being 'professional' is that you can be trusted to use your own judgement. This is just one of many things that I really, really hate about teaching in England.

heggiehog Sun 30-Sep-12 16:48:43

"Surely part of being 'professional' is that you can be trusted to use your own judgement. This is just one of many things that I really, really hate about teaching in England."

YES. Well said.

Derceto Sun 30-Sep-12 17:20:38

Has anyone said you need to wear a suit , I specifically said I don't always wear suits. I don't do sterile, cheap looking or dull either

EvilTwins Sun 30-Sep-12 17:45:00

I don't wear cheap suits either. I have a few good quality items which I wear. I do usually wear a jacket, but I don't always keep it on. I teach drama, but don't feel the need to float around in scarves or dress in a crazy, creative manner to prove the point.

Himalaya Sun 30-Sep-12 18:52:23

No cheap suits is more the case for students where they have to wear a suit in sixth form - teenagers trussed up in nasty shiny cheap suits instead of jeans and hoodies or whatever.

elizaregina Sun 30-Sep-12 19:10:49

if the children are expected to look smart and wear a uniform the teachers should also make an effort to look smart - which you can do without wearing a suit.

at dds reception class they are all made to wear ties etc - and yet the teacher turns up - in cargo style mid calf holiday trousers - flip flops - a vest casual as you can get.

i think its insulting to the children and the parents who have to get them ready to look " smart" for a days work at school.

MadamFolly Sun 30-Sep-12 19:38:37

I look smart when I teach, I wear dresses or trousers and tunics/blouses. Leggings only under knee length skirts.

I also wear very bright colours, usually blues, purples and greens. The children often comment in a positive way and its a nice way to start a lesson or a conversation with some pleasentries.

If I had to wear dark suits I would feel quite oppressed and that would be reflected in my teaching which would likely be less dynamic as a result.

I also like the freedom to be able to change what I wear depending on what I'm teaching. Sometimes I do experiential lessons and dress in what would seem a slightly odd way for a normal lesson. I need the freedom to do this.

Enfyshedd Sun 30-Sep-12 22:07:32

DSS1 currently has a supply teacher for Art. By the sound of things she's in her early 20s, but she has a habit of wearing low cut tops and mini skirts. DSS1 (13) and his friends are spending half of the lesson dropping their pencils to get a look. I'm wondering if a call to the school for a word to be passed on should be made...

lovebunny Sun 30-Sep-12 23:27:33

does it bother you or are you relaxed about the 13 year olds copping a look? if you're bothered, tell. if you think its fair enough, leave them to it.
personally i think its unprofessional and probably immoral of her to dress that way in front of young people, and i would be bothered. but other people think differently.

5Foot5 Sun 30-Sep-12 23:44:26

At DDs school they are very strict on uniform for years 7 to 11 and for sixth form they have to wear "business dress" about which they are equally strict. However it has been made clear that the dress code for sixth formers is exactly the same as the dress code for the teachers therefore I think YANBU

Enfyshedd Mon 01-Oct-12 20:04:36

lovebunny - When I was in school, my class got into a lot of trouble because the boys harrassed one of the teachers a lot. Granted, she was a rubbish teacher (my grades in the subject crashed in that year - she lasted one year and we heard she left to become a secretary), but she didn't deserve getting her bum pinched by some of the then 13 year old boys.

Personally, I think the teacher's being an idiot if she doesn't think about what she's wearing when she's teaching a load of hormonally charged teenagers.

HoneyMurcott Mon 01-Oct-12 20:13:01

I work in a school and we have very precise rules about staff dress, which has to be "corporate". The rules are very detailed. I think this level of detail is actually helpful for staff, who know what is acceptable and what is not. Personally, if my child got sent home for wearing inappropriate uniform and the staff were wearing leggings and jeans, I would have a problem with that. The staff should set the tone of the school. After all, they are setting themselves up as role models. Therefore, IMO, YANBU. I also think that " business dress" needs defining as is open to way too much interpretation - what kind of business- and needs clarifying. Perhaps you can raise this with the school.

thebody Mon 01-Oct-12 20:15:37

If a 13 year old lad pinched my bum he would get his face slapped, I am a teaching assistant.

Parent head on, absolutely fucking hate school uniform.

Boring uniformity doesn't equate with good grades or professionalism.

Fair enough not crop tops and mini skirts but sensible jeans, legging, skirts and wooly tights.

My dd 13 was told her skirt was too short by a teacher who I can only describe as looking like a kings cross prostitute. My dd wore trousers after this but I felt quite acceptable mentioning the teachers state to the head who agreed with me.

Sauce for goose...

Derceto Mon 01-Oct-12 20:46:53

I would be interested to know what detailed guidance you have been given. Whilst I agree we should be dressed professionally I am not sure how I would feel about " detailed guidance"

maddy68 Sun 30-Jun-13 11:44:10

This really irritates me
Pupils are in school. They have to comply with uniform and other rules
Teachers are in their work place. They are not in school they are in employment.

Teachers also are alloweds to smoke, drive, get married etc. this is because they are adults.

Eyesunderarock Sun 30-Jun-13 11:45:24

Maddy, what's with the Zombie revival? confused
Start a thread of your own.

maddy68 Sun 30-Jun-13 12:07:43

Oooh get you!
I ave no idea how this has showed on the list. I certainly didn't revive it intentionally. Thought it was a new one!
But be assure when the zombies get here I'm ready wearing jeans and a crop top smile

xylem8 Sun 30-Jun-13 12:17:26

The school need to enforce a stricter dress code for staff.At my DCs school male teachers all wear suits and female teachers wear 'office dress'. Leggings/denim jackets for school is unprofessional and disrespectful to the students.IMO anyway

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