Dressing for the warmer months in a school environment

As the warmer months approach, most of us feel a sense of relief for the lighter evenings and brighter weather. But the age-old conundrum also creeps in around what to wear to work in order to stay both cool and professional in the school environment (particularly for those of us that aren’t fortunate enough to work in a modern building!).

We’ve put together some guidance to help you plan ahead.

Dress code practices to consider

Dress codes tend to vary from school to school, with many not adopting a formal policy in itself – however, these are some of the top considerations that our members have listed:

  • Schools should be sensitive to issues of culture
  • Facial coverings will generally be expected to be removed whilst on duty
  • No politically motivated, sexually provocative, discriminatory, insensitive or offensive attire
  • Jewellery and piercings should not be worn excessively or pose an unacceptable risk either to the employee or to pupils
  • Hair should be kept tidy and nails kept at a sensible length
  • Visible tattoos must not cause offence; if tattoos are likely to cause offence, they must be covered up

School dress codes in hot weather

Generally, as long as the above considerations are met, dress codes within schools will relax as the weather becomes warmer.

If you are a teaching professional who identifies as male, it is usually acceptable for shirts to be worn without ties or with a loosened top button. However, in some cases it may also be acceptable to wear a smart and presentable alternative, such as a plain polo shirt or long-sleeved cotton t-shirt or a more loose-fitting shirt. You could also consider shoes with a more open or slip-on style, such as loafers or boat shoes.

For teaching professionals who identify as female, consider clothing that allows you to move comfortably and freely. Pinterest is a good place to look for inspiration on choosing summer clothes that look smart for the school environment; a loose-fitting jersey blazer is ideal for the summer months and shirt dresses are great for workwear that is both smart and comfortable.

Relaxed dress codes tend to be set at the discretion of the Headteacher so, if in doubt, it’s always best to speak to your head in advance.

Do you have a good example of a summer dress code within your school? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us at @NAHTnews.