Smarten up your act for pupils' respect

8th August 2008 at 01:00

I read in GQ magazine that Chris Keates of NASUWT is against a dress code for teachers, arguing that such a code would be demoralising. What nonsense. As a headteacher, I insisted on a dress code. I had no problem with women wearing smart trousers, nor did I measure their hemlines, but I did insist that pupils wore a smart uniform and expected staff to set an example. Pupils respect a teacher who takes the trouble to look as well as act like a professional.

As a head, I challenged the Inland Revenue for a suit cleaning allowance - science teachers can claim for lab coats, caretakers for overalls - but to no avail. Perhaps teachers will fare better. Chalk dust plays havoc with your pinstripe, but what the hell, wear your Armani with pride!

Tony Callaghan, Alpington, Norfolk.

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