by Kasia Giedroyc
THE "Worzel Gummige" look cultivated by teachers was strongly criticised last week by a Catholic schoolmaster.
"We are judged by our appearance and there must be many members of the public who are not convinced of our tpay claim", warned Michael Comber, a teacher at St Brendan's Catholic Sixth Form College, near Bristol.
Writing in The Career Teacher, journal of the National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers. Mr Comber said some teachers were "scruffy" and others ,"downright Unsavoury" in appearance.
"There are far too many who appear in the press and on television looking as if they belong to Tramps Anonymous", he added.
Mr Comber was backed by David Hart, general secretary of the National Association of Headteachers, who said: "Teachers should remember they are professional people and, Imake a point of always looking smart as other professionals do.
"A teacher who doesn't care about his appearance sets a very bad example to the pupils in his school."
Mr Comber told the catholic Herald that poor pay was no excuse for poor dress. "Denim jeans cost as much as a respectable pair of trousers, and there's no excuse for not wearing a tie", he said.
John Lipscomb, Headmaster of St Dominic's Catholic Sixth Form College, Harrow on the Hill, agreed with Mr. Comber.
He added: "When you walk into a classroom, you project all sorts of images of yourself. These are closely observed by the children, consciously or subconsciously.
"But dress is only one aspect. True religious beliefs are vital for creating the correct image."