Health and Safety Considerations

Purpose of this policy

To ensure student dress codes meet health and safety requirements.

Policy

Student dress codes must take into account health and safety considerations including:

  • sun protection
  • risks from jewellery, cords, chinstraps, drawstrings or school bags.

Sun protection

Schools:

  • with a uniform must ensure a sun protective hat is included, at least as an option, as part of the uniform
  • without a uniform must permit sun protective hats in their dress code.

Note: Schools should encourage students to wear a sun protective hat outside from September to April.

Jewellery, cords, chinstraps and drawstrings

Jewellery, hat cords, chinstraps and drawstrings present risks of injury or strangulation, particularly:

  • when worn in the head and neck area
  • for primary students engaged in active outdoor play.

When developing a dress code, schools should consider:

  • the jewellery students are permitted to wear
  • selecting hats (or other garments) without cords, chinstraps or drawstrings
  • using safety cords designed to detach if caught.

School bags

Carrying school bags may pose risks of back pain or damage due to:

  • poor design or poorly fitting school bags
  • students carrying bags incorrectly
  • students carrying loads that are too heavy.

Schools should:

  • select school bags that:
    • minimise the risk of back injury to students
    • are endorsed by an Australian professional organisation such as the Australian Physiotherapy Association or the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia
  • consider strategies to prevent students from carrying loads that are too heavy.

Related policies

Department resource

Other resources

For more information on: