Ministry unveils new grooming policy for schools

When children return to the classroom on Tuesday, it will be under a new National Grooming Policy, an updated dress code for nursery, primary and secondary Government-operated schools.

Minister of Education Kay McConney says it was long overdue and updates the previous Code of Discipline and Dress Code which is almost 30 years old.

The full policy can be viewed at the Ministry’s website mes.gov.bb or its social media pages.

These are some of the highlights.

Students must wear the full and correct school uniform as set out in the school’s guidelines while on the premises and while travelling to and from school on any official school day or while representing the school.
The uniform is a symbol of the school and as such should be worn with pride and kept clean and tidy. For example:
Skirts and overalls/dresses must be worn at least knee length and must not be tight (exemptions apply).
Shirts and blouses, designed to be tucked in, must be worn tucked in at all times, unless it is a shirt-jack or as required by the school (exemptions apply).
Shoes must be comfortable, neat and clean and must be one solid colour.
Socks must be worn right up or neatly folded around the ankle.
Trousers must be worn at the waist and must be neither tight nor baggy and only an underwear must be worn underneath.
Undergarments should not be conspicuous in colour, and neither should they be revealing.
All students must comply with the dress code. Exceptions will be made on: religious; and health/medical grounds.
Female students are allowed to wear one (1) pair of earrings which must be bobs and should be worn one in each earlobe.
No jewellery, except functional, like a wristwatch must be worn during school hours (exemptions apply).
Students must wear simple hairstyles.
Hairstyles which distract or obstruct the view of others should not be permitted.
Hair colour will not be permitted.
Emphasis should be on simplicity, tidiness and neatness.
Hair ornaments must be limited to stipulated school colours. These should be functional and not decorative.
Hair extensions are allowed but must not be elaborate and should be neatly groomed.
Visible tattoos will not be allowed; where a student has a tattoo it should not be visible.
Nail polish must not be worn while in school uniform.
Make-up, for example, lipstick and eye liner, must not be worn.
Where ties, epaulettes, crests or badges are required, they should be worn for the duration of the school day and while travelling to and from school.

The document also sets out grounds for exemptions and appeals.

The Ministry expects that there will be instances where exemptions may be requested. As a result, provision has been made for specific exemptions to be granted to students regarding some aspects of the policy on the following grounds: religion and health/medical.

In both instances, written requests must be submitted. However, with specific reference to health cases, supporting medical certificates must be submitted. However, each case will be judged on its own merit.

Requests for consideration of exemptions should be accompanied with supporting documentation or a medical certificate from a registered medical practitioner in the case of health concerns.

Exceptions will be judged on the merits of each case. Unresolved cases may be referred to the Ministry for review. (SAT)

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