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St Thomas More Catholic Secondary School

St Thomas More
Catholic Secondary School

Why is a dress code important?

Dress codes are common place in work settings up and down the country. This is a place of work and as such it is appropriate that you become accustomed to the expectations of a work setting. Some work places are highly prescriptive to the extent that some working in the City of London Square Mile are not allowed to have facial hair of any kind, no hair colouring, and specific suit styles etc that projects the ‘right’ professional image for their company. Other companies are more relaxed. The important point is that they all seek to support the ethos and image of their company through their dress code and this is just the same for St Thomas More. 

We expect you to live up to the views expressed through your consultation and show leadership in the way that you respond to the freedoms that are attached to a dress code as opposed to a uniform. We are immensely proud of our students at St Thomas More and your appearance is an outward sign of the excellence that exists within the school.

The benchmark for acceptability should be the appearance of staff on a mufti day. On these days staff still have to dress with modesty and it needs to be functional. As students in the Sixth form that are part of a Federation of schools you could on any day be teaching or leading younger students and your dress should reflect this fact.

School Expectations of Sixth Form Students

The Sixth form is part of a wider community of learners where standards across all groups are essential. We all know that fashions change over time such that a prescriptive list of acceptable / unacceptable clothing, jewellery and hairstyles is challenging. The consultation with Sixth Form students has shown that they wish for a more inclusive and positive approach to the school dress code.

Sixth Form students are leaders in the school. They provide a visible bridge between the younger students in years 9-11 and the teachers in the school. With this in mind we expect students in the Sixth form to take leadership in this area and demonstrate that they are supporting the school in its aspiration towards high standards in all areas.

Appropriate Dress as defined with VI form students through consultation meeting June 2011:

  • Students should wear clothing of a modest nature suitable for a learning environment and should therefore not be revealing or too short.
  • Leggings can be worn provided they are worn with another piece of clothing example mid-thigh length skirt/top/tailored shorts/tunic to ensure modesty.
  • Jump suits can be worn provided shoulders are covered and they are of a modest length.   
  • Knee length shorts are allowed in hot weather.
  • Cargo shorts are allowed in hot weather.
  • In hot weather Maxi dresses are allowed provided shoulders are covered.
  • In hot weather Vest tops, tops with thin straps or off-the shoulder tops may be worn provided shoulders are covered and are not revealing.
  • Tee shirts or polo style shirts with non-offensive logos, slogans or statements are allowed 
  • Appropriate footwear must be worn - no flip-flops and heels should be of a reasonable height.
  • Sixth Formers will be expected to dress in business attire at different times throughout the year [e.g. Mass/Leadership Days] to show their leadership of the school community.

Inappropriate Dress

  • Bodycon skirts, miniskirts or hot pants(including denim hot pants) / short non-tailored shorts are not allowed as they are inappropriate for a learning environment
  • Clothing displaying offensive logos, slogans or statements are not acceptable.
  • Football / Team strips and shirts displaying specific team insignia are inappropriate. 
  • Bare midriffs are not acceptable.
  • Dyed hair that is not a natural tone is not acceptable  
  • No hats or caps may be worn inside classrooms.

Acceptable Jewellery

  • All items of jewellery should be of a modest nature.
  • A modest approach would see simple single studs in each ear (maximum of one per ear).
  • A single small, discrete nose stud is acceptable should you wish.
  • No other visible facial/body piercing will be allowed as part of acceptable dress.

If you are in clothing that is in our opinion inappropriate for a school work setting then you should be challenged. The question that will be put to you more often that not will be: Would you think it would be appropriate for a teacher to wear what you are wearing today?

As such, standards of appearance in school are our mutual responsibility. 

The final decision as to what is, or is not appropriate dress, lies with the

Post 16 Director of Studies