A recent news item dealt with heads in Middlesbrough instructing parents not to wear pyjamas on the school run.

In my own case school recently wrote to parents reminding them to wear seatbelts and to ensure children are wearing seatbelts on the drive to school.

Seatbelts are a legal requirement, but ultimately it's my responsibility not the school's.

Seatbelts, pyjamas. Would it be fair to tell the school it's none of their business?

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    it made "staff uncomfortable." It makes me uncomfortable and I'm not even there. :-) But if you go to your kids school dressed in Pajamas I think you have some sort of problem that is hardly addressed by the school requesting you to get dressed. Commented May 26, 2011 at 7:09

2 Answers 2


The school has no authority over the parents, except when on school premises.

The school is free to suggest or even recommend certain ideas, but as long as the parents aren't on the premises, they can wear whatever they like.

Having now read the BBC article linked in the question, it's indeed a story of a school requesting parents to dress properly. The school probably realizes that they can't require it, as they have no sanctions against the parents. Though obviously people can dress any way they want, I think it's reasonable to expect a certain minimum, with pajamas clearly being below that minimum.


I once worked at a school where a mother constantly came to pick her middleschool son up from school wearing a tennis skirt that was so short the bottoms of her "Southern Cheeks" hung below the skirt and everyone knew she was wearing a thong under there. You can imagine how the boys lined up to get a glimpse and how the son felt about the situation. Given the circumstances, it was the school's business - many of the parents of the other students were up in arms about it too.

Of course there was not much the school could do, but they did make an effort to include a similar "request article" in their newsletter. I'm glad to hear of another school tyring to take a stances and making suggestions - perhaps there was something more behind the scenes you weren't aware of that instigated the school's newsletter article. There is nothing wrong with just ignoring the newsletter.

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    Oh my! Amazing what grown people wear out in public! While I would like to believe that when the school says "pajamas", they mean that all the parents showing up are dressed in pj pants and t-shirt or perhaps a tank top, I'm not naive enough to believe that everyone sleeps in such attire. If moms are showing up in nightgowns and dads are showing up in boxer shorts, however, that would make me uncomfortable too!!
    – Meg Coates
    Commented Nov 12, 2012 at 5:56

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