A while ago, I wrote a blog post about the student dress code at KY. I am returning to the subject today because of certain individuals who have recently turned up to AS and A2 exams inappropriately attired. I have spoken to them all individually, without stressing them out at this important time in their lives, but at the same time making a few key points.
Some people may think that imposing a dress code on students taking exams is going a bit far. What they may not realise is that universities impose such rules on exam practice and we are merely following suit. However, I believe the more important life lesson to be learned here is generic: we need our students to know the importance of appropriateness in different areas of human behaviour and endeavour. When I am marking English Literature essays, for example, I point out that the use of slang or over-familiar, colloquial language is likely to have an adverse effect on exam grades. Similarly, when our students start earning a living, there will be rules on what to wear, what time to start and finish work, the correct way to address colleagues and supervisors and so on.
Throwing on a few old clothes and slapping on a pair of flip flops a few minutes before attending an examination, suggests a lack of seriousness and a failure to acknowledge the importance of the event. Dressing appropriately, together with behaving appropriately, should be automatic in such circumstances. It's not as if we are requiring male students to come to exams wearing a full tuxedo or the ladies to be in ball gowns! The general expression used these days is "smart casual," and, to me that offers students plenty of opportunity to be both comfortable and respectful of the occasion.
I hope all KY students will take note of this advice and accept it in a positive way. It is intended solely for their benefit, both now and in the future.