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Dress Codes for Students in Public Schools Policy


1. Policy statement

Dress codes for students in public schools are determined by school councils and boards in consultation with students, their parents and staff of the school. 

2. Policy rules

The principal must:

  • confirm the school has a dress code;
  • confirm that the dress code adheres to State and federal human rights,
  • anti-discrimination and equal opportunity legislation;
  • confirm that the dress code requirements are similar for all students and include gender neutral options;
  • confirm clothing made from denim is not included in the school dress code for all schools, other than senior colleges;
  • provide parents and students with details of the school’s dress code in writing at the time of enrolment and when there are changes to the dress code;
  • communicate to students they are required to comply with the dress code unless they have been granted an exemption; and
  • manage exemptions and sanctions in accordance with the School Education Regulations 2000 and the Dress Codes for Students in Public Schools Procedures.


Dress codes are tangible evidence of the standards expected of students and play an important role in promoting positive images of schools.  A school’s dress code supports all students to participate fully in school life.  Dress codes can help create a sense of identity and a school culture in which every student experiences a sense of belonging.

State and federal human rights, equal opportunity and anti-discrimination legislation requires that students are not discriminated against (directly or indirectly) on the grounds of personal characteristics such as age, disability, gender identity, race, religious belief, sex or sexual orientation.

Direct discrimination may occur where a school has different uniform requirements for students with different personal characteristics and this difference results in one group of students being treated less favourably than another.

Indirect discrimination occurs when treating everybody the same way disadvantages someone because of a personal characteristic. For example, a school's physical education uniform could discriminate indirectly against students who have cultural or religious requirements to dress modestly.

3. Responsibility for implementation and compliance

Implementation of the policy is the responsibility of principals.

Compliance monitoring is the responsibility of line managers.

4. Scope

This policy applies to all principals.

6. Definitions

Document providing standards of what is acceptable in relation to the clothing worn by students at the school including headwear, footwear and aspects of personal presentation.

A student who:

  • does not comply with a requirement of the school’s dress code;
  • has reached the age of 5 years and 6 months at the time of the alleged non-compliance or would have reached that age during the calendar year in which the alleged non-compliance occurred; and
  • has not reached the age of 18 years at the time of the alleged non-compliance.

Clothing of specific colour and/or design worn by students of the school as a means of identification, as specified in the school’s dress code.

Sub-group of the school council or board, including at least one school staff member, with the specific role of providing assistance and support in relation to compliance with the dress code.

7. Related documents

8. Contact information

Policy manager:

Director, Teaching and Learning Services

Policy contact officer:

Senior Policy Analyst, Learning Area Support

T: (08) 9402 6106

9. History of changes

Effective date Last update date Policy version no.
1 January 2007 29 November 2013 1.0
Updated contact information. D13/0573788.
1 January 2007 19 March 2015 1.1
Contact information updated to reflect change in position from Director, Office of the Director General to Executive Director, Organisational Governance. D15/0085666
28 April 2015 2.0
Major review undertaken and split into policy and procedures. Endorsed by Corporate Executive 13 February 2015.
28 April 2015 2.1
Updated contact information. D15/0147219. Version 2.1 updated prior to version 2.0 becoming effective.
28 April 2015 4 August 2015 2.2
Updated contact information D15/0260244
28 April 2015 2 August 2017 2.3
Updated contact information D17/0045097
1 January 2018 1 January 2018 2.4
Amendments to mandate gender neutral uniform options for all students. Endorsed out-of-session and ratified by the Director General at Public Schools Executive on 27 October 2017.

10. More information

Policy review date

28 April 2018