Is teachers' attire any of Ofsted's business?
Last week (2 December), TES reported that Ofsted's incoming chief inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, was keen for the inspectorate and teaching unions to make judgments on teachers' "dress and decorum".
If dress is to be an issue, I would suggest dressing oddly on inspection day - either scruffy or outrageous, but something the inspectors can get their knickers in a twist about. That way, they might not need to make absurd criticisms of the content and style of the lesson.
Dress depends, surely? Hell of a difference between a chemistry teacher and a history teacher and a PE teacher.
It's also very subjective. One of my colleagues was told off by a local education adviser for wearing a suit. She was told this was inappropriate for the "type of children" (SEN) that she taught. Apparently, it was too "businesslike".
I love it! I can see our head insisting that all staff wear full evening dress during an Ofsted visit.
I always wear a suit (and a tie) when at school. If (Sir Michael Wilshaw) continues to blame teachers for everything, I'll definitely start dressing down as a protest.
Wonder what would happen if Ofsted rolled in on Comic Relief day? Last time I went in somewhere to teach on Red Nose Day I was greeted by the head in a red wig, yellow socks pulled up over his trousers and spotty boxer shorts over his trousers. I wonder what inspection boxes that would tick in terms of exceeding expectations?
We should go back to gowns and mortarboards. You could wear what you want underneath ...
... Or nothing at all.
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