“School teachers are part of a profession – one of society’s most important professions – and today we are outlining an inaugural Dress Code that befits their status in the community,” Mr Piccoli said.
“While the vast majority of teachers dress professionally it is important for the Department of Education and Communities to detail the dress standards it expects its staff to follow.”
Mr Piccoli said he knows teachers and principals will support the Dress Code as yet another step by the NSW Liberal & Nationals Government to enhance the status of teachers.
“The Dress Code is the latest element of our plans to improve the status of the profession — something we know teachers care passionately about,” Mr Piccoli said.
Already the NSW Government has announced changes that will mean:
· Students entering teaching degrees straight from school must have at least three Band 5 results, one of which is English;
· Current teachers will have to gain accreditation from the NSW Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES);
· All teachers will have to undertake at least 100 hours of professional development every five years; and
· Highly accomplished teachers will be eligible to earn more than $100,000 a year by 2016.
The new Dress Code is supported by principals’ groups who believe it will increase the esteem in which teachers are held by the community.
“Principals have asked me to provide greater clarity about what is acceptable. Teachers should not come to school wearing t-shirts, rubber thongs or clothes displaying alcohol advertising and we have made this clear in the Dress Code,” Mr Piccoli said.
“Wearing appropriate dress helps teachers maintain respect and credibility with students, parents and the broader community.
“The Dress Code recognises that context is important. Obviously, what a teacher might wear for sports events or metal work is different to what is required for parent-teacher interviews or an end-of-year awards ceremony. For such occasions a suit and tie, or trousers and jacket, is more suitable.”
The new code will take effect at the beginning of Term 2 this year.