Students vote to put you in uniform

11th February 2005 at 00:00
School corridors could soon echo with shouts of "How long is that skirt, Miss?" or "Take that earring out, Sir" if secondary pupils have their way.

The inaugural conference of the English Secondary Students' Association has voted overwhelmingly in favour of teachers wearing uniforms.

Three-quarters of the 120 11 to 19-year-olds at its conference in London last week said staff should adhere to a dress code.

Rajeeb Dey, Essa's 19-year-old founder, now at Oxford university, said:

"Teachers. . . have left their school days behind and might be reluctant to return to wearing a uniform. Students don't want to do this antagonistically. It's a way of creating a sense of community."

But supply teacher Bindu Verma, said it was a terrible idea. "As a supply teacher the pupils would probably think I was the new girl and pick on me.

The social fabric of the staffroom is all about looking at what other people are wearing - their trainers, their new Fendi bag," she said.

Essa plans to discuss uniforms for teachers with the unions in April. But Chris Keates, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers said: "There is no rationale for teachers having to wear uniform."

Staff and pupils at St Andrew's Major Church in Wales primary, in the Vale of Glamorgan, wear the same uniform. Chris Webb, the headteacher, said:

"The uniform's easy wash and wear. We don't have to worry about buying expensive clothes and then getting paint and glue on them."

And Mark Fenton, head of Dr Challoner's grammar, in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, occasionally wears the school tie. He said: "Fitting teachers for the traditional uniform might cause problems and, as we are a boys' school, we would have to adapt the uniform for female staff."

Teachers concerned they might not get a uniform in their size need not worry: John Lewis stocks school shirts that go up to a 46" chest for girls and 17" collar for boys. Blazers go up to 48" for boys and 44" for girls.

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