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Dress code for male teachers in summer heat.

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by spgallagher86, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. Hi all, this might sound like a trivial comment, but I was wondering if male teachers at other schools are expected to wear a suit and tie in the current heatwave? I teach in a school in London, two weeks ago the weather was extremely warm (over 30 degree on one day I think), and as I was teaching on the third floor of my school, in a room with no air-conditioning or fan, I removed my tie, only later to be told by an assistant head that male teachers were expected to wear ties at all times, and suit jackets outside of the classroom. Female teachers however are able to do without jackets, and wear summer dresses etc, meaning it's a lot easier for them to cope with this hear.

    The weather forecast is meant to be up to 32 degrees tomorrow, and I have no idea how I'm supposed to teach five lessons a day in a boiling classroom. I was wondering if any other schools had similiar policies, or am I just unlucky? Has anyone ever challenged such a dress code?
    unfoggingblogger likes this.
  2. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    I think there are two issues - the dress code and ' maximum' heat re working conditions. I recall a long time ago that there were Union guidelines for very cold temperatures in classrooms but not for extraordinarily high ones ? Someone will no doubt be able to confirm / deny this . However I don't see how the SLT will get the best out of its staff or crucially the students by not doing everything in its power to promote and maintain a comfortable environment for learning ?
  3. 50sman

    50sman Senior commenter

    HOw many of your students will not achieve their target grades because you are not wearing a tie?

    Most businesses are ditching ties these days

    What purpose do they serve in the 21st century?
    palmtree100, les25paul, Kamit and 4 others like this.
  4. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Lead commenter

    It's time this sexism stopped.
  5. Gaurav30685

    Gaurav30685 New commenter

    I get annoyed I can't wear sandals to work in this heat!
    palmtree100 likes this.
  6. CheeseMongler

    CheeseMongler Senior commenter

    Does taking your tie off really make a significant difference? Sure, loosen it a little and undo the top button but you can still wear it and look smart. If the thin strip of fabric was that good an insulator, why don't arctic explorers wear ties? Why not roll a trouser leg up 1/4 inch; it'll expose about the same amount of flesh, or wear a short sleeved shirt.
    These are just a few of the things I'll use to explain the expectations to students when I've been in schools that have demanded that ties are worn. I don't see it as a huge issue - the main reason you (and the students) don't want to wear a tie is psychological (IMO).

    As for the sexism, I'd much rather the nice, clear male's expectations on dress than the female's loose guidance of "something that is appropriate"... bloody minefield that one.
    rgordo likes this.
  7. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    Suit jackets outside the classroom is ridiculous. At my school male teachers wear a short sleeved shirt and a pair of tailored shorts, or smart trousers if they prefer. Ties are required but they tend to wear them loose and undo their top button, as suggested above.
    bonxie likes this.
  8. meggyd

    meggyd Senior commenter

    Many world leaders and those in the public eye don't wear ties! Obama, Cameron, Prince William and a lot of newsreaders. A smart shirt with top button undone is fine.
    palmtree100 likes this.
  9. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    This is correct - At least it was the last time I checked (a couple of years ago.)

    However, it is part of an EU directive, so watch this space....
    palmtree100 likes this.
  10. Trendy Art

    Trendy Art Star commenter

    Maybe it's about a perceived double standard by the students. If they have to wear the uniform in the same conditions, then so do staff.
    palmtree100 likes this.
  11. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Not if the school dress-code says otherwise...
  12. krisgreg30

    krisgreg30 Occasional commenter

    Do have to admit making a fuss about this today in a primary school and how it was modern day sexism. Ratios are extremely different with only 2 of us to potentially 30 females who can all walk around in summery clothes that are more appropriate with the heat while we were melting in shirts and trousers.
    hammie and unfoggingblogger like this.
  13. Kamit

    Kamit New commenter

    As a professional male, not currently working in a school, I find the whole thing bizarre. I do training in a wide variety of work places and very rarely see people wearing ties. The office uniform nowadays seems to be suit trousers, collared shirt with top button undone. Science and IT workers pretty much wear what they like.
    Only school children, teachers and estate agents seem to be forced into suits/ties all year round.
  14. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    I heard something interesting the other day. A suit denotes your importance . Only those of low importance with mediocre jobs wear suits! e.g. teachers and estate agents (as above)
    The head G.P at my practice wears a designer polo shirt with either jeans or casual trousers. My vet wears an open neck shirt and trousers - white coat for consultations. Solicitors- suit trousers and open neck shirt - tie and jacket available for meeting clients. Surgeons - open neck shirt and smart or casual trousers - doctors are no longer expected to wear ties because of possible infection hazard. Some like to wear a Dickie bow, which I think is quite nice.
    However, I do believe in school uniform for pupils. Therefore, it follows, that teachers should wear some sort of formal dress too. Jeans and tatty T shirt - No. One thing that the professionals that I have mentioned above have in common is that they are always spotlessly clean and tidy, their clothes are always well ironed.
  15. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    I agree - can't believe we are in a place where an assistant head thinks they can intervene and make someone suffer increased risk of dehydration and heat stroke.

    For the poster who thinks it's all psychological, the body cools by evaporating sweat from the skin. When we cover the skin with clothing we struggle to evaporate it. Removing the tie and opening the top button immediately exposes an area of skin for the evaporation process to occur.

    Of course, when that assistant head requires some good will, word of mouth for recruitment issues or other support at a key time they are going to find the opposite. It's just basic leadership. Personally, I blame the lack of training. Anyone can become a school SLT and they don't need to have any training or qualifications.
    unfoggingblogger likes this.
  16. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    Memories of an exchange teacher from NZ arriving to teach on a hot day in a tailored shorts suit with shirt and tie... looked impressive but the staff were highly entertained!
    unfoggingblogger likes this.
  17. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    It could be an anti-suicide measure for male teachers having to work in this heat in un-airconditioned rooms. Did they ask for your belt and shoe laces, too?
  18. katylnewman

    katylnewman New commenter

    At my school this week the students and staff have a relaxed dress code.
    The kids are allowed to remove blazers, jumpers and ties, but ensure shirts are tucked in.
    Staff the same.
    Stops the moaning from the kids and we are much more comfortable. Everyone still looks respectable!
  19. unfoggingblogger

    unfoggingblogger Occasional commenter

    Utter bilge.

    The tie does make you hot, as it is a cord around the neck, which stops heat from escaping.
    crazypineapple likes this.
  20. unfoggingblogger

    unfoggingblogger Occasional commenter

    I assume that you are aware of the adage, "The law is an ass" ?
    crazypineapple likes this.

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