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Why Ofsted is right to launch a clampdown on scruffy teachers

3 years ago

Kelly Rose Bradford writer
Kelly Rose Bradford Journalist and broadcaster London, GB
Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw is said to be overhauling teacher training and part of the changes will be be placing a greater focus on 'professional dress and conduct' in the classroom.

I can remember touring various schools when trying to decide where to send my son and being outraged by the sartorial standards of some members of staff – most memorably a young teacher in a midriff-grazing top which revealed a dangly belly ring every time she moved too enthusiastically, and a male teacher in faded and torn jeans but with a tie – like he couldn't quite make his mind up whether to make an effort or not. That, along with a general air of 'casualness' throughout the school meant that it was swiftly crossed off our list.;
Of course some people will say it is the quality of teaching which is important, and that teachers' clothing is irrelevant. But it really is not. We are regularly hearing of children being sent home from school for having the 'wrong' shoes, or the 'wrong' colour coat. School handbooks generally have pages of 'uniform policy' for parents and students to adhere to, so surely it is only fair that teachers follow suit? 
How can those members of staff who are turning up apparently having dressed in the dark before having a quick roll in the dog's bed possibly uphold the school's uniform code with any sense of authority? Not only is it hypercritical, it also makes students lose respect. 
Some schools apparently already have dress codes in place for their teachers – usually 'smart business dress', something I would like to see all schools adopt. I would not like to visit my doctor or solicitor and have them lounging over their desks in jeans, vest tops and flip flops – it would make me doubt their respect for their workplace, me the client, and their professionalism. Denim-clad, beach shoe and vest-wearing teachers should bear in mind that parents and colleagues may well be thinking the same about them.  
What do you think? Does is matter what teachers wear? Tell us in the comments below. 
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