Classroom catwalk Prima donnas

29th August 2008 at 01:00

The prospect of being splattered with glue is not particularly conducive to looking glamorous in school, says Caroline Nofer, Year 3 and 4 teacher at Gorfield Primary in Cambridgeshire.

She is one of 11 teachers and classroom assistants - all regional winners of the 2008 Teaching Awards - who will feature in the October issue of Prima magazine. Ms Nofer, 27, appears dressed in an off-white V-necked dress with matching shoes.

"I'd like to be glamorous," she said. "It's nice for the children when you make an effort. But I spend all day bent down, and most of the time I'm wearing an apron and covered in glue. I can never have my nails painted - it lasts five minutes before its chipped."

But teaching assistant Marilyn West, 55, intends to implement some of the tips she has learnt when she returns to Stocklake Park Community School, a secondary in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. For example, she hopes to retain her blonde highlights.

"In teaching you're so busy, you just put on lipstick and go," she said. "I've never experimented on my own. But pupils notice when you're made up, when you wear something nice."

For most of the teachers and assistants, the makeover experience has transformed not only their appearance, but also the way they are perceived by pupils.

"I'm in a magazine," said Ms Nofer. "I'm on a par with Girls Aloud now."

But Helen Brittain, 49, history teacher at William Farr Comprehensive in Lincoln, disagrees. "They removed the ravages of time, but I've never thought of myself as glamorous at all. And I don't think the pupils think of me like that. I'm just Mrs B, the history teacher."

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