21 Apr HT Blog 28 – Uniform
Before we broke up for our Easter break, Mrs Muscroft sent a letter to all parents outlining our expectations of uniform for when our students return to us this week on Wednesday April 24 at the normal starting time of 08.45. In the letter, which was essentially a series of reminders rather than a completely new set of announcements, the following points were noted:
- All students must wear their Daubeney blazer at all times (more of this later in this blog)
- Our school jumper is an optional, additional, item but may not replace the blazer
- One ear piercing per ear and a watch are permitted, but all other jewellery items should be removed
- Skirts must be tailored and knee length, with no tube skirts allowed
- All trousers must be tailored (in bootcut or straight style), with jeans and leggings not allowed
- Footwear must be completely black
- Make-up must be discreet
- Nail varnish and acrylic nails are not permitted
- Religious headscarves must be black and tucked inside the shirt collar to ensure that the Daubeney school tie is visible
- Hair colour must be natural colours only, with deep red or other primary colours not permitted
- Hair accessories must be small and black
- Extreme haircuts are not permitted (for short styles, a minimum of grade two is allowed)
In addition to the reminders above, Mrs Muscroft also wrote the following text: “In order that we are seen to be fair and consistent with all students, please be aware that we will be putting sanctions in place for those students who are not dressed according to our uniform policy. This means that students will be removed from mainstream learning sessions and social times until they are dressed correctly.” As has always been the case, it is the responsibility of the individual student and his/her family that all members of the Daubeney Academy community are dressed suitably and appropriately for school, and wearing the complete and correct Daubeney school uniform is not only excellent preparation for the world of work that follows each student’s educational career but also a sign of commitment to their school. In the workplace, successive excuses about not adhering to a code of conduct simply don’t work, and persistent breaches almost always lead to either disciplinary proceedings or, in some cases, dismissal. Being smartly dressed also creates excellent first impressions for others, both at school and at work, and it is unlikely that anyone, student or professional, would set the right tone for a lesson, exam or meeting if they were to enter a room with an unbuttoned shirt hanging out whilst muttering an excuse about not being able to find their tie that morning. At Daubeney, our uniform has also always been as much about affordability as it is about smartness or community cohesion, and rather than go down the route of insisting upon expensive, embellished items we have continued to ask for simple and relatively inexpensive uniform parts, such as plain black trousers or footwear. As a parent of two school-age children myself, I know how much it can cost to kit them out for their school, and I would like to avoid, wherever possible, adding additional problems to already tight budgets; all we ask for in return as a school is that our simple expectations of uniform are met at all times.
During the forthcoming summer months at school, it will still be the case that we expect our students to arrive at school dressed in their complete and correct Daubeney Academy school uniforms whether it is hot like last year or mild, drizzly and overcast like almost every other English summer that we’ve had. In the event of a heatwave, we will always allow for reasonable adjustments to our students’ uniforms once that they are in school, and as long as students ask respectfully for permission to remove additional items in classrooms, such as blazers or ties, then our teachers will be happy to make a reasonable, professional decision with their wellbeing in mind. Just as in the workplace, what our students can’t do is decide that they are going to make their own uniform adjustments during spells of hot weather and come to school as if they were dressed for a holiday at the beach. Respect is, as I am sure you are all aware, one of our five values as a community, and our expectation is not only that students are respectful in the manner in which they communicate with each other and the adults at their school but also that teachers make respectful decisions about our young people’s welfare, when the need for this arises. If it gets hot during the summer term, and it may perhaps be slightly premature to assume that it will, announcements to our community will, as always, be made via our normal channels of ParentMail and social media. Exam pressures aside, the summer term is almost always everyone’s favourite time of the year, and I look forward to our students returning this week, smartly dressed and ready to continue their excellent learning.