Newspaper clipping – The Mercury – 1 October 2008

Teachers to consider dress code

PRETORIA: The dress code of about 45 000 teachers could soon be under review to ensure that they looked professional, the SA Council for Educators said yesterday.

Briefing journalists in Centurion, council head Reg Brijraj said that the body had instructed schools to hold meetings with interested parties by the end of the year; to consider the present dress of their teachers and draft guidelines.
“It was felt that some teachers were not properly attired to be in the classrooms,” he said, adding that some women teachers were dressed in a very revealing way.

The decision to ask schools came after the SA Council for Educators – a statutory body – was directed by the education ministry o look at dress codes after the department “allegedly” received a number of complaints.
“We cannot say that teachers can dress in any way that they feel like,” said Brijraj.
“We don’t think that to dictate dress codes is an infringement of their constitutional rights. Once you choose to become a teacher, you choose to abide by the demands of the profession.”

He said that while the regulator was required by law to act against offenders who did not dress properly, it had to date received no complaints. However, it was its mandate to investigate and make pronouncements on the “extreme forms of dress” that brought the profession into disrepute.

Council chairman Anthea Ceresto said breaching the dress code was not a dismissable offence at this stage.
“Is it a fireable offence? Not in terms of our code at the moment. It would have to contravene something else,” she said.