Implementing and Enforcing Dress Codes

From Term 1 2017, Victorian government and Catholic schools will use the new Victorian Curriculum F-10. Curriculum related information is currently being reviewed and may be subject to change.

For more information on the curriculum, see:
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 - VCAA

Purpose of this policy

To ensure that schools implement and enforce student dress codes appropriately.

Policy

Schools must:

  • communicate their dress code to the school community
  • assist families having difficulties with uniform costs
  • ensure that measures used to enforce the dress code are consistent with the Student Engagement and Inclusion Guidance and the school’s Student Engagement policy see: Department resources below.

Communicating the dress code

The student dress code, including any changes in dress requirements should 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 should 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 should investigate options for supporting families who may have difficulty meeting the cost of uniform items. Schools should include information about support options or strategies in their dress code and ensure this information is communicated to the school community. 

The State Schools’ Relief also provides assistance with school clothing and footwear via school principals. Principals assess requests for assistance and the Committee provides articles of clothing for students either directly or through an authorisation to the school clothing shop or local supplier see: State Schools’ Relief.

Enforcement

Schools may choose to include appropriate measures to enforce their dress code in their student engagement policy. The Student Engagement Guidelines support schools to create a positive school culture, clearly articulating school-wide expectations and consistent processes to address areas of concern in a staged manner.

This table provides advice on dealing with dress code infringements.

Sanction Advice

Withdrawal from classroom instruction (or other school activities)

Students should NOT normally be excluded from class or sent home for minor 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.

Exclusion from school (suspensions or expulsions)

Students should only be excluded from school in accordance with the obligations outlined under Ministerial Order 625, see: Student Engagement and Inclusion Guidance - Disciplinary Measures

Concerns and complaints

Parents, carers or students can:

Related policies

Department resources

For more information: