Comment: Smarten up? You must be joking

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The Independent Online
Most of the teacher training package unveiled yesterday was eminently sensible - which the Labour Party's ready assent showed. Strip away the party political posturing, and here is the basis for a much needed re- professionalisation of teaching. But Gillian Shephard could not resist over-egging the pudding.

How teachers teach, their impact in the classroom, their capacity to inspire and stimulate their charges - these have got nothing to do with how they are dressed.

The Secretary of State's cult of "smartness" is not just irrelevant, it is hypocritical. The day she and her Cabinet colleagues can be held up as model dressers, sartorial super-heroes - that will be the day teachers and anyone else may begin to take seriously the idea that we should look to our leaders for words of wisdom about dress.