School operations

Student Dress Code

Implementing and Enforcing Student Dress Codes

Communicating the dress code

The student dress code, including any changes in dress requirements must be:

  • communicated widely throughout the school community
  • provided to all prospective students and parents and carers prior to enrolment at the school
  • translated into community languages, if required
  • communicated via a translator, if required, for example at an information night

Important: Schools must ensure that students and parents and carers are aware that they can apply to the principal for an exemption to the dress code.

Support for Families

Schools must investigate options for supporting families who may have difficulty meeting the cost of uniform items. Schools must include information about support options or strategies for supporting parents in these circumstances on their website, parent payments policy or in their dress code and ensure this information is communicated to the school community. 

State Schools’ Relief also provide assistance with school clothing and footwear via school principals. Principals assess requests for assistance and can send an application to State Schools’ Relief when they believe there is a need to support a student whose family is facing difficulty in providing the appropriate uniform items for schools. State Schools Relief provides articles of clothing for students either directly to the family or through an authorisation to the school clothing shop or local supplier.


Schools may choose to include appropriate measures to enforce their dress code in their student engagement policy. The Department’s Student Engagement Policy and Guidance supports schools to create a positive school culture, clearly articulating school-wide expectations and consistent processes to address areas of concern in a staged manner. The principal of a government school may determine the consequences to be imposed on a student for not wearing the school uniform in accordance with a determination on school uniforms made by the school council and any Ministerial Order in relation to student discipline.

Students should not normally be excluded from class or sent home for infringements of the student dress code as dress code infringements are not usually linked to interference with the rights of other students or the capacity of a teacher to teach a class.

Exceptions to this might include issues of safety or where students are representing the school.

Guidance chapter on communicating and enforcing the student dress code and requirements relating to support for families who may have difficulty meeting the cost of uniform items

Reviewed 27 May 2020

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