Uniform

A new Head teacher arrived at School L where achievement was being undermined by low level disruptive behaviour amongst a significant minority of students. There was a uniform code but it had been only loosely enforced by the previous Head. This had sent out the message to students that minor breaking of rules was acceptable and high expectations did not need to be met.The new Head teacher knew that to be successful, gain the respect of the students and challenge the school’s tardy attitude he would have to address uniform straight away. Parents were all contacted and reminded about the uniform code. If the students did not possess the correct uniform, parents were given a short period of time to ensure that they did. The Head made sure that all items of the uniform except shoes were available at a discounted price at the office. Parents were told that after the allocated period of time had elapsed, students wearing incorrect uniform would be isolated. The Head teacher had complaints from parents, saying that this would jeopardise students’ learning. He made it clear to parents that, in choosing the school, they had signed up to the uniform policy and therefore had to support it. The Head held a series of assemblies explaining the new expectations to students. He explained how proud he was of them, so proud that he wanted them recognised on the streets because of their uniform. He made clear his expectations for students whenever and wherever they wore school uniform. When it came to the week when full uniform was to be enforced, only a tiny number of students were improperly dressed. Most students enjoyed their new smartness.Prizes were given to all tutor groups who came in perfect uniform for the whole week. The senior team increased their lunchtime patrols outside school, so they could see how students were behaving in their uniform off site. They appeared in the most unexpected places and disruptive behaviour of any kind was rigorously followed up. The Head teacher received far more letters from parents praising the enforcement of policy than condemning it. Local businesses contacted him about the improved behaviour of students. Students and staff knew that the new Head teacher meant business.The school was on the up.


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