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Staff dress code

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by pianopete, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. pianopete

    pianopete Occasional commenter


    Has anyone been subject to a talk or more serious proceedings (warnings etc.) regarding their own dress e.g. piercings, visible tattoos. If so, how did it go? Did you school have a clear staff dress code/restrictions or was it vague interpretation by LMT of what constitutes "professional" dress. I'd be appreciative of any advice, information or just being forewarned.

    I am a male teacher with a visible ear-piercing (stud only). Student uniform policy doesn't allow boys to wear any jewellery (even though girls can) and staff code simply talks about "professional dress" with no specifics. Another male teacher has already been asked to remove earrings and has complied.

    Curae and pepper5 like this.
  2. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    How long have you been at the school?
    Has there been a change of leadership?
    Have you been issued with a new dress code?
    agathamorse and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  3. pianopete

    pianopete Occasional commenter

    My 7th year. Dress code has always simply said "professional." No change in wording or leadership. The wording hints at staff following the same "standards" as the students, but given that heels, nail varnish, jewellery, hair cuts, facial hair on existing staff all violate this... not sure how that sentence is supposed to be interpreted.
    Curae and pepper5 like this.
  4. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Never worked in a School, which didn't have a Dress code policy. I can see f you are required to set an example of professionalism, why they would prefer no visible piercing.
    nomad, pepper5 and Pomza like this.
  5. pianopete

    pianopete Occasional commenter

    Lara - did you school dress code allow women to have visible piercings but not men?
    twitterbix and DaisysLot like this.
  6. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    It was always for all teachers, male & female across the board.
    nomad and pepper5 like this.
  7. pianopete

    pianopete Occasional commenter

    Currently there are a myriad of female colleagues with multiple ear piercings. I have not yet been asked to remove it but I feel that I will be.
    pepper5 likes this.
  8. install

    install Star commenter

    Speak to your Union. Are their 'female' members of staff allowed to wear ear-studs? If so - that would be unfair and possibly discriminatory. But - a tough fight I think without anyone to argue your case. And really - is it worth losing your job over ?
    twitterbix, Curae, Piranha and 3 others like this.
  9. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Then I think you are probably worrying over nothing. If your appearance hasn't changed, then it is unlikely there is a problem.
    pepper5 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  10. meggyd

    meggyd Star commenter

    I understand your concern but is it worth the hassle? I would just remove the piercing if asked to do so and save energy for another battle. Ultimately it's up to you though.
  11. FollyFairy

    FollyFairy Occasional commenter

    I once worked in a school where all visible tattoos had to be covered so lots of teachers wore very big plasters on their arms/legs during hot weather. I was also asked to take my nose piercing out. What is acceptable in one school may not be in another and we just have to deal with it.
  12. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    Just take the stud out during your working day and opt for the easy life. Its not a battle worth fighting.

    Although when some schools specify "professional dress" they really mean "professional dress of the 1950s". The rest of the working world has moved on a bit since then, these schools haven't.
  13. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    If they ask you to remove an ear stud, then check that they are asking ALL staff to remove earrings. Whatever gender...
    To be fair, if it is a safety issue (i.e. you work with young children and they may grab it), then fair enough that no-one wears one...
  14. pair_of_argyles

    pair_of_argyles Occasional commenter

    Most "dress codes" are along the lines of
    Men - Jacket, collar and tie, smart trousers, shiny shoes
    Ladies - Wear Wha-th-Fu you like. Provided it will not get you arrested on school premises

    Ditch the stud and bend the rules in a different way each half term - extravagant moustache, goatee bead, dip dyed hair, winkle picker shoes, top-hat, monocle should keep you going till next September.
  15. ronnieg

    ronnieg New commenter

    I was sent an private and confidential email saying it had been noticed that I hadn't shaved for 2 days and designer stubble wasn't allowed. Ran out of shaving foam wasn't anything to do with it being designer stubble

    We had a policy where it stated we had to be clean shaved- we did have a new staff member come with a huge beard which saw the policy changed to clean shaven or a beard .....
  16. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    If you are asked to remove it but it irks you being told how to adorn your ear lobe , put a large and conspicuous blue catering plaster over it.
    Because you can.
  17. -myrtille-

    -myrtille- Occasional commenter

    I agree that if female staff can wear earrings, male staff should be able to too.

    Our staff dress code states no facial piercings. So both men and women can have ear piercings but nobody can have a nose stud in at work. A few people may disagree with it, but at least it's clear and equal.

    I do think some female staff get away with the "no visible tattoos" rule more than men, but it's due to the nature of the tattoos. Some female staff seem to have a very small tattoo on the wrist or ankle, which is visible at school but nobody really notices them or cares.
  18. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Remove the stud.during working hours - simples.
  19. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    What is the point in deliberately flouting expectations. As a member of staff, you’d be commenting on / challenging students whose dress/ make up/ hairstyle ignored school rules.

    At my last school, female staff wore skirt or dress and jacket, or a trouser suit. Jackets were obligatory for women and men. Closed toe shoes were obligatory too.
  20. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    I've not worked in a school which specifies regarding piercings for staff, it always has been "professional dress" which then leaves it to interpretation / stuffiness of SLT. Seems a bit of a pointless battle to pick though - if they don't like it, let them have a win and save your fight for something of value to your students.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018

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