What to wear is never a problem

10th September 2004 at 01:00
Ask most teachers and parents where they stand on school uniform and they will probably tell you it helps improve discipline, raise standards and reduce peer pressure and bullying.

But staff at St Andrew's Major Church in Wales primary school have taken it even further and adopted the same dress code as the children.

The 12 staff, including two men, can choose from polo shirts in a choice of school colours - red, white or black, complete with breast logo - matched with white or black trousers (women can opt for skirts instead). For winter there is a sweater or cardigan in the school colours.

Headteacher Christine Webb said the policy, suggested by staff frustrated at the state their own clothes ended up in, has proved popular. "The teachers find the new uniform very practical. It's easy to wear and ideal for classroom activities. Also, I think they are proud to wear the school badge. It reflects the team spirit."

Reception teacher Louisa Gardner, who has been at the Dinas Powys school for three years, said: "I used to spend up to pound;400 on clothes for school. The clothes are easily washable so it doesn't matter about getting covered in paint and whatever else. And you don't have to worry about what to wear.

"The children like wearing the same uniform as teachers. It sets an example to those who might otherwise be reluctant to wear it. The only problem is you feel a bit self-conscious popping into the supermarket on the way home."

Year 5 pupil Joseph Green, aged 9, said: "It makes everyone part of the same team."

Gethin Lewis, secretary of the National Union of Teachers Cymru, said: "If it carries on I think the NUT should ask the Inland Revenue to make the expense of working clothes for teachers a tax-deductible expense."

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