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Pe kit for teachers

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by parkesbelinda, Jan 29, 2020.

  1. I am a teacher in year 1 at an infant school. As a 59 year old woman I despise track suits!!! Our young male subject leader tells me I have to wear a horrible nylon tracksuit with the school logo on the back to teach pe starting next term. Has anybody else had this experience and does anyone know if this can be enforced? Thanks
  2. JJ83

    JJ83 New commenter

    Get over it!!
    It will more than likely be smart kit
    I don't like wearing smart clothes for work but I have to as its dress code
    MacGuyver, nomad, CWadd and 2 others like this.
  3. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    Tell him you can't wear nylon because it exacerbates your menopause symptoms which you then describe very graphically. Do this in the staff room with all the older women , the TAs etc present and encourage them to compare menopause experiences. He will possibly find something more urgent to do and forget this edict.
    tall tales, colpee, Marshall and 29 others like this.
  4. JJ83

    JJ83 New commenter

    You cannot be serious!
    ilovesooty and nomad like this.
  5. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    Staff wellbeing.
  6. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    I guess I agree with you, it is rare for mighty P to be seen in a tracksuit. (Not since the 70s).
    Reflect that sometimes schools make children wear things they hate.
    You have more faith on the powers of school budgets than me.

    My serious suggestion is that you grit your teeth and get on with it.
    My anti-authoritarian side suggests looking at teenagers to find ways of subverting the trackie, in an age appropriate way of course.
    nomad and caress like this.
  7. JJ83

    JJ83 New commenter

    Every school I have ever worked in that have had sports kit for staff has been lovely
  8. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    Where and when are you expected to struggle out of your sensible tweed skirt, twinset and sturdy brogues to don said monstrosity? In some grim staff toilet cubicle? And all that to watch 32 5year olds spend 20 mins getting changed, 20 mins getting dressed afterwards and 20mins messing around with beanbags? Is the young male PE teacher a prospective candidate for promotion? Any male in in a primary school usually is I think. Isn't this a case of elevating a subject to have a status far higher than that it actually deserves? Alternatively you could ensure you wear a nice pair of trousers and a comfortable top with T shirt underneath and slip into your trainers as the kids change.
  9. sunshineonarainyday

    sunshineonarainyday New commenter

    School PE kits are the norm in secondary schools where the PE staff teach PE all day. They look a lot smarter than when I was at school and I remember they all wore sportswear of their own choice. However, this is clearly not the same in an infant school.

    Perhaps you could share this anecdote from several years ago, when a friend of my parents who taught KS1 in a local primary school was told she had to wear a full kit for PE every week. Ofsted came to inspect the school (the old week-long inspections, so I’m going back a good few years!). This was a small school with no capacity to cover the class at any point for her to change, so she used to nip into the staff toilets at the end of the lunch break. PE was straight after lunch, but there was then another lesson straight after PE which she had to teach in her kit as there was nowhere to change unless she left the class unsupervised. Ofsted downgraded her next lesson as she was “inappropriately dressed”. It was mentioned in the final report as a criticism of the school. She asked whether she should have left the class in order to change back into her usual work clothes and was told of course not. So she couldn’t win, and the school was criticised for allowing her to teach a lesson wearing her sports kit. Might help you to convince your colleague to think twice, especially if you share the anecdote in the staff room where senior staff may overhear you.
  10. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    Alternatively this could be an opportunity to accessorise imaginatively. Think Edina Monsoon or Victoria Wood.
  11. GreenTrees123

    GreenTrees123 Occasional commenter

    I’m a headteacher and I would tell him where to go tbh.

    The issue with a lot of middle managers is that they’re so desperate to make an ‘impression’, they try to implement ideas that have absolutely no impact on the quality of teaching and learning.
  12. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    No Green Trees I think we should all embrace subject specific attire to enhance the learning experience. Think Tudor ruffs and fetching hose (maybe not with cod piece) for those Shakespeare lessons. Explorer kit for geographers. As an Mfl specialist I will don onion seller kit for KS3 and Marie Antoinette wig for A Level literature classes. Still thinking about what to wear for the German classes....
    efm, Laphroig, Jobalot and 7 others like this.
  13. bevdex

    bevdex Star commenter

    The Ofsted criticism of a lesson taught in PE kit sounds a little harsh! I always used to stay in my PE kit for the whole day - again, primary school with no changing facilities for staff and no-one else around in the afternoon to stay with the class while I got changed. The only time I ever changed at lunch time was if I had a meeting in the morning.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  14. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    I actually think that if you protest enough to be the only teacher who refuses to wear the Pe kit, then the kids are getting a counter productive message, should they weedle out the truth, that basically they have needs and rights which are more important than conformity for the sake of simply getting on with it.
    "Hating wearing" a specific item is such a personal thing, and you have put it forward as more important than the uniformity which they are trying to present to the kids.
    It's not about being told what to do (harrumph, I just wont!). It's more about a united front for the younger ones.
    What are you teaching them by putting your own needs over a directive?
    Is this not a daily struggle we have to manage ourselves with kids and their rights when we just want heads down and do the work?
    If you hate the tracksuit, don't look at it. Look at the kids and their effort instead.
    nomad likes this.
  15. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    The kids are 5. Will they even notice or care?
  16. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    If all the teachers wear one apart from one teacher, they will ask.
    They notice these things more than they notice the things you actually teach them.
  17. BertieBassett2

    BertieBassett2 Star commenter

    My only concession to a 'PE kit' is changing into my trainers for a lesson. I hardly need a full kit at age 60 - no way will I be demonstrating any vigorous techniques.
    I think you should heed the advice of @meggyd and maybe exaggerate the awkwardness of changing into and out of said track suit. Explain that if the alternative is to wear the ruddy thing all day you couldn't possibly as synthetic fibres would exacerbate your menopausal symptoms.
  18. aypi

    aypi Senior commenter

    How are you going to demonstrate a handspring in your tweeds?
    That below the knee skirt is alright for sitting down, but how are you going to do the splits in it?

    I remember walking into work a couple of years ago and thinking how stupid a job it was and how daft I was for doing it.
    I looked over a wall and down to a middle aged PE teacher walking in wearing shorts.
    It cheered me up immensely.
    At least I don't have to look ridiculous.
  19. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    Why do you feel the need to make an issue of your colleague's age/sex?

    By all means refuse. But you might not like the response.
    nomad likes this.
  20. Devon Dumpling

    Devon Dumpling New commenter


    Would a head of any other subject dictate what staff wear? I think not.

    We are professionals and and as such can chose our daily attire, providing it is appropriate of course.

    As for it looking bad to the children - nonsense again! I wear jewellery, makeup and paint my nails. Should I not be allowed to as the students can't? No. I've earned the right.

    If it were me I'd say 'not a chance'. I've become a grumpy beggar with age, so I would go on to invite him to start disciplinary procedures if he felt it necessary to do so. Really, what will they do?


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