Wairarapa College’s school uniform rules have changed. PHOTO/FILE
Wairarapa College students will now be allowed to have any hair colour, any number of ear piercings, and a maximum of two facial piercings.
Visible tattoos will also be permitted, as long as a note of consent from a parent or guardian has been provided.
Rule changes also allow students to wear hats, lava lava or le faitaga, and feminine pants.
Most of these changes will be rolled out by term four, the rest in place by term one next year.
Former student Destiny Tom said uniform rules were “heavily policed” in the past, and “these changes allow teachers to focus on teaching”.
“I think that the school is changing their rules because everything is changing now – there are fewer presentation rules in the professional world. They’re playing catch up.”
Not all uniform rules have changed, however; “facial hair is still a no, and they won’t allow heavy makeup, just something light that you can’t really see,” Tom said.
The change came from a survey of staff, students, and parents.
“It was interesting how closely aligned many of the responses were,” acting principal Michele Whiting said.
“The option of having no uniform or grooming expectations was not considered.
“I’d like to remind the school communities that maintaining high expectations for how students are presented within these rules will be continued.”
One parent commented on the announcement that they were “so disappointed as a parent to read this”.
“What a shambles the kids are going to look.”
Another commented, “Awesome! Nothing wrong with coloured hair and facial piercings”.
“Good on you Wai Col for letting the creative juices flow. If it keeps them in school through this judgmental and tough time in life, then that is great.”
From conversations with parents, Tom said not everyone agreed with the changes.
“Not all parents like it, but there is nothing they can do but accept it.
“Some other schools might follow suit, Makoura changed ages ago.”
The Wairarapa Times-Age contacted Wairarapa College for further comment, but no response was given in time for publication.