Oldham Sixth Form College does not expect students or staff to wear a formal uniform.
The College does, however, believe that dress plays a valuable role in contributing to the ethos and values it represents and in setting an appropriate tone for behaviour and attitude. This Dress Code therefore sets out the standards expected by all members of the college community.
The code is based on the DfES “Guidance to Schools on School Uniform Related Policies” issued in March 2007.
Staff and students are expected to dress in a manner appropriate to a modern, purposeful and ethnically diverse Sixth Form College.
In choosing what clothing to wear, staff and students must comply with the College’s view that their dress should promote a strong, cohesive, college identity that supports high standards and a sense of identity among students. The college believes that the desire of individuals and groups to wear particular dress is outweighed by the following factors:
- Security – the College needs to be able to identify individual students and staff in order to maintain the safety and security of its members and identify intruders easily. This requirement forms an integral part of the College Security Systems, compliance with which forms part of the Learning Contract;
- Teaching and learning – if a student’s face is obscured for any reason, for example by hats, hoods, veils, sunglasses etc.,the teacher may not be able to judge their engagement with learning, and to secure their participation in discussions and practical activities;
- The need to protect young people from external pressure to wear clothing they would not otherwise choose to adopt, and having to adopt patterns of dress associated with extreme and antisocial elements in the wider community, including styles and colours associated with gangs;
- The desire to promote harmony between different groups represented in the college;
- Professionalism – staff, and where appropriate students, would be expected to dress appropriately to their role in order to promote a positive and professional image at events such as Information Mornings, Parents’ Evenings, Liaison events, etc.;
- Health and safety – for example, long hair may need to be tied back in a science laboratory, or those taking part in sporting activities may be asked to remove jewellery if it is considered that it poses a risk.
In addition, items of dress that may reasonably be expected to cause offence to any member of the college community, such as T-shirts bearing inappropriate language or images, or particularly revealing items of clothing, are not allowed to be worn in college.
If a student or member of staff is believed to be in breach of the College Dress Code, including at the point of interview, enrolment or recruitment, the matter should be referred to a member of the Senior Management Team. They will review the situation and, if they feel that the code has been breached, they will:
- Discuss the matter with the person(s) concerned, explaining clearly what the issue is and in what way they have breached the Dress Code;
- The individual will be sent home from College and asked to remove or change the items of clothing as appropriate;
- In the case of existing students, it should be made clear that this is not a suspension or exclusion, and that they will be readmitted to college immediately once they comply with the Dress Code;
- In the case of prospective students, it should be made clear that this is not a bar to their progressing to the college and that the admissions process will resume once they comply with the Dress Code;
- Persistent or willful breaches of the Dress Code will be dealt with in accordance with the relevant disciplinary procedures.
This Dress Code has been the subject of consultation with the Student Association and the College’s Equality and Diversity Committee.