Government issues new dress code for schools

When government school students return to class next week, they will need to comply with new dress code guidelines issued Monday by the Ministry of Education. The rules are in addition to whatever dress codes individual schools may implement.

A statement by the ministry said the goal is to teach students “the important life skills of presenting themselves in a well-groomed manner and in dressing for purpose.”

Both Education Minister Juliana O’Connor-Connolly and Education Council Chairman Dan Scott have spoken about the importance of such policies.

In an April interview, Mr. Scott said dress was an important part of teaching students how to comport themselves.

“All the public schools have uniforms,” Mr. Scott said. “The question is whether you comply with it. If you go to court, you’re not going to be allowed in unless you tuck your shirt in.”

He said that, based on feedback the Education Council had gathered, educators believe it is an important issue.

Each individual school will still issue rules related to the color and style of socks, pants, skirts, shirts, blouses, belts, undershirts and required PE kits.

The following list outlines the dress code which shall apply to all government schools:

  • Uniforms should fit properly.
  • Skirts are required to be knee-length or below
  • Pants are to be worn at waist height and shirts should be tucked in.
  • No undergarments should be exposed or visible through the uniform.
  • All students are required to wear all-black shoes or sneakers.
  • Boots, sandals and slippers are not allowed.
  • Students are permitted to wear a watch but no other jewelry.
  • Items displaying gang affiliations are not allowed, such as badges, tattoos, colors or tagging.
  • In keeping with the cultural norms of the Cayman Islands, hair of male students should be cut short.
  • Hair of female students should be groomed.
  • Hair is required to be a natural color, and extremes of hairstyles, such as a Mohawk, or shaved lines or words, are not permitted. No beads should be worn in the hair.
  • Shaved eyebrows are not permitted.
  • Makeup, nail polish and false nails are not permitted.

The entire policy can be found online at www.education.gov.ky and all students and their families are encouraged to read it.

For more information, contact the Department of Education Services at 945-1199.

1 COMMENT

  1. I agree with these guidelines and hope they are enforced.
    Goverment also needs make sure teachers have books, copy paper, in room copy machine and supplies!
    Government also needs to pay our teachers a proper salary for educating our children!

  2. Whilst I can appreciate teaching (and hopefully modelling) proper grooming to our students, standards for gender expression seem like government overreach to me. As a multi-generational Caymanian who traces back to the founding settlers, I am completely unaware of any traditional standards or cultural norms with respect to the length of a boy’s hair. (I had long hair, basically an afro, all throughout middle school and high school 30-40 years ago.) Some girls also prefer to wear trousers.

    I am opposed to the idea of government regulating gender norms for children. Gender expression is a developmental process and children, under the guidance of their parents, should have the freedom to express themselves. That is a parent-child matter, not a governmental oversight matter, provided – as mentioned – they are well-groomed,