This policy sets out requirements for schools and school councils to develop, implement and review their student dress code policies.
- All school councils have the authority to develop dress codes for their students, should they choose to do so.
- School councils must work with their school communities in developing and reviewing dress codes.
- School councils are responsible for deciding on arrangements for the supply of school uniform items.
- The principal may determine the consequences to be imposed on an individual student for not complying with the student dress code, in accordance with the relevant school and Department policies.
- All student dress codes must:
- meet human rights and anti-discrimination requirements
- include an exemption process
- include health and safety considerations
- explain requirements relating to uniform supply arrangements
- be communicated clearly to students and parents or carers
School councils have the authority to develop dress codes for their students, including:
- whether or not the school will have a school uniform, and whether or not any such uniform will be compulsory
- clothing for specific activities (such as sport, laboratory experiments, bags)
- exemption grounds
- methods of enforcement (provided they are consistent with the Department and local school policies on discipline and student engagement)
Dress code consultation
If a school council decides to develop a dress code, they must work with their school communities in developing and reviewing dress codes. The school council should carefully consider the forms of consultation that will be undertaken in developing or reviewing a dress code. Please refer to the Developing and Reviewing Dress Codes section of the Guidance tab for further advice regarding modes of consultation.
Compliance with human rights and anti-discrimination law
Student dress codes must comply with human rights and anti-discrimination legislation.
Refer to Human Rights section in the Guidance tab for further explanation of these requirements.
Implementing and enforcing dress codes
If a student dress code is developed, schools must:
- communicate their dress code to the school community. Refer to the Implementing and Enforcing Student Dress Codes section of the Guidance tab for guidance on ways to communicate dress codes to the school community
- assist families having difficulties with uniform costs. For more information about assisting families who may have difficulty meeting the cost of uniform requirements, please refer to the State Schools' program.
- ensure that measures used to enforce the dress codes are consistent with the Department’s Student Engagement Policy and Guidance and the school’s Student Engagement Policy. Refer to the Implementing and Enforcing Student Dress Codes section of the Guidance tab for further advice
Health and safety considerations
Student dress codes must take into account health and safety considerations relating to sun protection and risks from jewellery, cords, chin straps, drawstrings or school bags. Refer to the Health and Safety section in the Guidance tab for further advice.
Schools must have an exemption process in their dress code policy and must follow the exemption process contained in the Exemption Procedures in the Guidance tab.
Uniform supply arrangements
- are responsible for deciding on arrangements for the supply of school uniform items
- must comply with written agreements with clothing suppliers and may be subject to legal proceedings if a dispute arises between the parties
- must not make any misrepresentations while making agreements with suppliers (for example, misrepresenting the number of students at the school)
For further guidance on uniform supply arrangements, refer to the Uniform Supply Arrangements section of the Guidance tab.
Policy template available
A Student Dress Code Policy is available on the School Policy Templates (staff login required). Schools can modify the template to suit their local circumstances
A written statement of school council expectations regarding student appearance. A dress code applies during school hours, while travelling to and from school, and when students are engaged in school activities out of school hours. A dress code may:
- define standards for the general presentation of students
- set out broad guidelines about student appearance
- require students to wear a school uniform
- define expectations for garment design and colour
- Age Discrimination Act 2004
- Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006
- Disability Discrimination Act 1992
- Education and Training Reform Act 2006
- Education and Training Regulations 2017
- Equal Opportunity Act 2010
- Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001
- Racial Discrimination Act 1975
- Sex Discrimination Act 1984
Reviewed 13 April 2023