Thursday, 13 March 2014

My thoughts on the Ofsted report slamming scruffy teachers

This morning I was invited to go on BBC Radio Humberside to talk about the Ofsted report criticising scruffy teachers at the Acland Burghley School in Camden, London. They had callers on debating whether what you wore was important or not in the place of work. The caller before me said that a more informal style of dress worn by a teacher would make the teacher more accessible and promote greater learning. Wrong. Ofsted had drawn a direct correlation between the state of the teachers' clothing, the presentation of the building and the poor standard of work - the overall lack of pride in the school - to the schools poor level of achievement. The head is stepping down in August.

So what was my opinion? That guidance on what to wear in any business has to come from the top down but in the article in the Evening Standard it says, "Sir Michael Wilshaw, the head of Ofsted, said that too many trainees are sent into schools without proper guidance on professional dress." If that is the case did the teachers even stand a chance against Ofsted? So what proper guidance do you give? 

A DRESS CODE which is the level of expectation you convey to your staff about their appearance: simply put it is what to wear and what not to wear.   

I talked to Burnsy on air about the importance of a Dress Code and the work I had done with Raynes Architecture. When the firm expanded, Lisa, the Director, contacted me to help shape their company image and write their Dress Code so that when a new member or staff that was taken on they would be in no doubt about what was acceptable dress in the Raynes work place. I mentioned a great quote on air from the E-myth revisited which talks about why some companies excel and others don't:

“Is it any wonder that McDonalds, Federal Express, Disney …and many more extraordinary companies spend so much time and money on determining how they look? It pays!” (E Myth Revisited)

Enough said! Even if you aren't running a multi-million pound business (and let's face it, how many of us are?!), or are running a not-for-profit business like a school, what your staff wear is a direct result of the management and leadership at the top and a direct reflection of how they feel about the job they are in.  After I bid Burnsy good day I remembered a Julie Walters programme called Ahead of the Class that was based on the failing school in London outside which the Head Teacher Phillip Lawrence was fatally stabbed in 1995. Do you know what the first thing she said  to her staff as the new "super head" brought it to ring the changes ? She  didn't ask them about the curriculum, the behaviour of the students, or what colour they wanted the staff room painting. No, she asked the teachers to dress smarter. 

(If you haven't read about what all the hoo-ha is about then check out the article in the Evening Standard by clicking here.)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for reading. Love to know your thoughts...