Dress codes for schools

Dress codes for schools


Do schools need a staff dress code?

In short, no, but NAHT would advise schools to adopt one.


A well-worded dress code…

  • Helps to set and maintain standards of professional practice enshrined in the Teachers’ Standards
  • Helps pupils model how they conduct themselves in a modern school setting and helps to mirror the pupil school uniform code
  • Is an ideal opportunity to engage and consult with staff and the school’s recognised trade unions, pupils too!
  • Help schools comply with relevant legislation – equality, human rights and health and safety in particular.


Dress code ‘golden rules’

  1. Staff should be able to dress according to their professional judgement
  2. Be alert to cultural norms – the wearing of discreet crosses to denote a commitment to the Christian faith or a Kippah (scull-cap) to denote a commitment to the Jewish faith should be completely acceptable
  3. Staff should remove facial coverings while they’re on duty to optimise good communication and help to identify individual teachers
  4. No aspect of dress or appearance should be politically motivated, sexually provocative, discriminatory, insensitive or offensive – so, for example, if visible, tattoos must not offend others; if tattoos are likely to offend, they should be covered when staff are on duty
  5. On occasions, schools may relax the dress code such as outdoor/adventure visits, training days, charity days and hot weather – in these circumstances, common sense should prevail at the head teacher’s discretion


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