What to wear on placement

We know that placements are an important part of your experience during your course. What do you wear on placement? And how do you get there? If you're wondering about these things then you're not alone - they're some of the questions we’re asked most often!

Trainee teacher working with pupils

If you are training to be a teacher or you have a placement in a school, you will be expected to wear smart dress when it comes to placements. Rules may differ for subjects such as Drama, Art and PE, but your placement provider will advise of their requirements.

Here are our top five tips for what to consider when you are dressing for your placement.

 1. Visible tattoos

Tattoos are okay as long as they’re not profane or offensive, in which case you’ll have to use a tattoo cover product. Some placement providers might have their own rules though, so you’ll have to abide by those.

2. Make-up

Make up is also fine, but use common sense and don't come glammed up for a night out!

3. Hair

Your hair shouldn’t be a problem, but if you’re working with children or with equipment you might want to think about having it tied back out of the way in case it gets grabbed or caught.

4. Nails

It’s probably best to keep your nails to a length where there’s no chance of scratching anyone by accident and so it doesn’t impair your ability to write or type!

5. Shoes

You could be on your feet quite a lot, particularly if you’re in a school setting or working with children in general. So consider how comfortable and safe your shoes are. Consider a material that’s not fabric so that you can clean them if you get anything on them such as glue or paint.

6. Bonus tip for working with children

Other things to consider when working with children and young people include how revealing your clothes are and anything that might get caught by a baby or small child or in equipment. So that means no visible body piercings and no dangling earrings or necklaces. 

It is important to be well presented as you are setting an example to pupils and you want them to have confidence in you as their teacher – you can’t expect them to comply with school uniform regulations if you don't comply yourself! Of course there may be exceptions to this. If you’re placed in an Early Childhood Studies or Working with Children, Young People and Families setting, you may be allowed to wear more smart casual clothing given the need to be able to move quite freely, getting up and down to the level of the children. However, you will be advised of this when you are allocated your placement or by your placement provider.

PGCE student standing confidently and posing in front of the camera in a classroom setting.These tips should give you a head start on what to expect, but your placement provider will be able to give you guidelines on what is expected in their workplace which may vary from one placement to another. Remember to stick with what they advise.

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