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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?

PickledFanjoCat Fri 28-Sep-12 23:29:58

She is the teacher.

That's the difference. They are not treated the same nor subject to the sane rules.

RobynRidingHood Fri 28-Sep-12 23:30:26

Are you the 17yo sent home?

Schools have rules for pupils. It's far more difficult to manage employees unless a staff/teacher uniform is brought in.

FelicitywasSarca Fri 28-Sep-12 23:31:16


Did you also object to teachers not wearing blazers lower down the school?

echt Fri 28-Sep-12 23:35:10

You sent your DD to a school with uniform rules which she broke. YABU.

This is something you could raise with governors/HT. It IS unequal, but until your DD's school sets a dress code for staff and enforces it, there isn't much you can do.

I dislike school uniforms of all kinds, but enforce my school's rules. While I don't wear a business suit, I wear "school" clothes as a nod to the fact that students have to be formal, so I feel I should, too.

EvilTwins Fri 28-Sep-12 23:35:21

Hmmm. I actually think YANBU. I am Head of 6th Form at my school. The HT complained to me that a couple of 6th form girls were wearing leggings. I pointed out that the fact that several teachers wear leggings put me in a difficult situation. We too have a "business dress" code. HT saw my pov, so sent a copy of the teacher dress code round to all staff, which clearly states no leggings. In 6th form, I think they SHOULD be asked to abide by similar rules to staff. Otherwise they may as well be in the same uniform as the rest of school.

OrangeLily Fri 28-Sep-12 23:36:51


1. teachers are not pupils! Why on earth do you expect them to wear uniform?

2. Teachers don't make the rules, senior management do.

3. Business dress is impractical for teachers who spend a lot of their day kneeling, bending, crouching, putting up wall displays, carrying piles of resources, tripping over school bags, moving at high speed along corridors, covered in pen, chalk, etc. Bit too restrictive!

Startailoforangeandgold Fri 28-Sep-12 23:39:15

Unfortunately, in this country we are in love with the idea that controlling what young people wear some how makes them better learners.

Personally I thing that if DCs have uniform it is disrespectful of the staff not to look smart.

I hate one of our teachers maxi dress, she looks like she's on holiday.

However, I think staff dress is probably impossible to police.

As for facial piercings they are revolting.

EvilTwins Fri 28-Sep-12 23:40:08

I wear business dress. So do the vast majority of my colleagues. We are in a secondary school. We don't do crouching down or putting up wall displays.

MerylStrop Fri 28-Sep-12 23:40:34

Well coloured jeans would be totally acceptable in the business I work in

Business dress...what a weird concept

ProudNeathGirl Fri 28-Sep-12 23:41:20

I know she knew the dress code when she applied to the school, and I'm fully supportive of the school in enforcing it. But I know how I would feel if my manager at work told me my clothes were inappropriate whilst wearing jeans herself.
The code is business dress. The school is a business, and the only example if a business dress most of the students have seen. I think the teachers should set an example.
The school wants to put over a professional image, but five studs in the face, and denim jackets are not professional.

Startailoforangeandgold Fri 28-Sep-12 23:41:36

Surely business dress is inappropriate for pupils for all the reasons listed in 3) plus trying to get in and out of tights in a hurry for swimming and freezing waiting for buses!

PickledFanjoCat Fri 28-Sep-12 23:43:25

You might not like it but life isn't generally fair.
Sometimes managers have perks.

Life outside school is one big fat unfair bastard.

OrangeLily Fri 28-Sep-12 23:44:58

Evil...... No wall displays? confused that's a shame!

You never crouch down beside a kid's desk to explain something?

echt Fri 28-Sep-12 23:45:48

You plainly feel strongly about, OP, so go to the HT. You never know, they might just be gagging for a complaint from a parent to give them some reason to change staff dress.

EvilTwins Fri 28-Sep-12 23:47:32

Nope. Wall displays are done by admin. I am a teacher, and stapling stuff to walls is something I don't have to do. I teach teenagers. If I crouched down, I would look ridiculous. I fully understand why primary teachers need to wear more casual clothes, but we are expected to dress smartly. I generally wear a dress and jacket, or tailored trousers and jacket, and usually heels.

TeamEdward Fri 28-Sep-12 23:47:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lovebunny Fri 28-Sep-12 23:50:08

*I wear business dress. So do the vast majority of my colleagues. We are in a secondary school. We don't do crouching down or putting up wall displays."
grin i'm in secondary too, and we do do crouching down and putting up displays!
teachers' uniform for us is business dress, with adaptations. no cleavage of any kind should be revealed, shoes should be full, shalwar kameez is fine. but there are variations according to your daily work - art teachers need things which won't be ruined by a splash of paint or smear of oil pastel etc.

defineme Fri 28-Sep-12 23:51:07

Eviltwins - do you not have art/pe/dt at your school? I know schools often delegate displays to support staff, but most teachers like to have a bit of input?
Surely respectable is what we should aim for? Leggings with your arse out no, leggings under a knee length skirt why not? A maxi dress is not just for holidays,where is the rule book that says that?
The school librarian was showing bright pink pants at the top of the back of
her trousers last week. I had no idea how to draw that to her attention...

EvilTwins Fri 28-Sep-12 23:57:25

I teach drama. It seems I can do so in a suit. I have some input into displays - today I liaised with one of our admin ladies, gave her the stuff I had prepared for the displays, and then she put it up. Creating displays is one of the 24 tasks we are not supposed to be expected to do, and thankfully I work for a HT who sticks to the ruling.

The PE staff wear sports kit, and the art teachers wear aprons as and where necessary, but our staff dress code is very clear. We ask KS3 & KS4 kids to wear ties and blazers, and the 6th formers to dress smartly, so I think it would be hypocritical if the staff were dressed casually.

BackforGood Sat 29-Sep-12 00:09:31

Startail - I'm not sure many 17 yr olds need to "get in and out of tights in a hurry for swimming" on a regular basis during the school day grin

FutureNannyOgg Sat 29-Sep-12 00:17:32

I'm a secondary teacher. I have a nose stud, and unnatural hair colour. I teach in smart, usually tailored, clothes (albeit in goth style), sensible make up and tidy hair. I do crouch down to look students in the eye, I often climb on desks or set fire to things.
My former HT once told me he appreciated, not just tolerated, my alternative look as a demonstration of diversity (its hard to pick on the emo kid when you see similarly styled staff integrated into the school community) and as a role model that showed alternative students that being part of a subculture doesnt have to mean being a drop out. They also relate to me, I have a lot of bullied, lonely, different or self-harming kids open up to me. I've also had a student take her facial piercings out for my lesson, but no others, because she didnt want to be like me.
If a student asks why I get to wear things they cant I just explain that I have served my time in unflattering uniforms and dull haircuts, got my qualifications, and this is one of the perks of being a grown up. If a student cant see a difference between themselves and their teachers, there are usually worse discipline/attitude issues than uniform.
Leggings worn as trousers are dire on anyone though.

Startailoforangeandgold Sat 29-Sep-12 00:20:21

We did, stupid school didn't time table swimming during PE decided none of us would want to get wet. So we used to dive in at lunch time.

Anyway I wasn't thinking of just 6th form. DD2 Y7 gets changed for PE and 3 lunchtime sports clubs. All her tights are in her PE bag because she can't be bothered to put them on again.

Nor can she be bothered to put them to wash.
Yes she can wear trousers, but smart black trousers are not improved by being skewed up in changing rooms either.

harvestvestibule Sat 29-Sep-12 00:26:11

YANBU Dressing casually shows a lack of professionalism and respect for the students

WorraLiberty Sat 29-Sep-12 00:30:19

This is hilarious! grin

Why are you even trying to compare adults in the workplace to school children in a school?

The teachers have done their time at school wearing uniform....your child will be free of uniform restrictions when she leaves the school.

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