Inspectors to focus on what teachers wear

Ofsted has announced that it is launching a clampdown on scruffy teachers because they may be setting a bad example to pupils.

The emphasis on how teachers dress is part of a shake-up in the way Ofsted inspects training courses, following concerns that some new teachers cannot control unruly pupils, The Telegraph reports. Last month figures showed that many teachers only last five years in the classroom, because they were poorly prepared for the challenges of teaching.

Although it denies that it is being prescriptive about teachers’ clothing, Ofsted will mark down training institutions in England that fail to tell student teachers about the importance of dressing smartly.

Chief Inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw has previously emphasised the importance of teachers adopting ‘business-like’ attire and the new guidance is likely to recommend shirts, ties and suits for men and smart skirts or dresses for women. In a recent speech he said: “How many times have I heard that trainees have been sent into schools without proper guidance on professional behaviour or dress?”

Some schools already have a uniform policy for staff.  While agreeing with Sir Michael’s views about what should be worn, dress rules tend to ban extreme hairstyles, visible tattoos, too many visible piercings, revealing or excessively tight clothing, flip-flops and excessively high heels.

Should Ofsted be scrutinising what teachers wear? If you’re a dedicated follower of fashion, will these new rules change how you dress?

52 thoughts on “Inspectors to focus on what teachers wear

  1. I agree that smart dress is appropriate but males have one option: shirt and tie. Why should I have to wear a shirt and tie just because I am male? We are teaching children about sexism but the very system we work for is sexist itself ! Dress codes in business have changed. Look at the president of the USA and you will see that he works just as well wether he wears a tie or not. I could adopt female wear but I would be ridiculed.

  2. I’ve worked as a TA and would have liked to have dressed more smartly for work. The trouble was, the teachers often dressed down. That would leave me looking more like a pupil in a smart shirt and skirt. When I wore a fitted dress or suit trousers I ended up looking sexy!
    If I wore a cardigan or jacket I would be too warm. I don’t think I found a happy medium. I didn’t want to dress in a frumpy way or to look like someone’s mum either. How I dress has always affected how I feel and ultimately how I am treated by staff or pupils.

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