Australian Capital Territory Education Directorate Policy

Dress Standard and Uniforms in Canberra Public Schools Policy

The ACT Education Directorate Dress Standard and Uniforms in Canberra Public Schools policy outlines requirements and expectations in relation to school uniforms. This policy document can be found here:

Of additional interest are the guidelines which accompany this policy. These guidelines lists several key principles that should be followed when designing and implementing a uniform policy. These include:

  • uniforms should meet requirements of work health and safety, anti-discrimination and human rights legislation;
  • school based uniform policies should have standards which apply to all students equally, regardless of gender identity, for example, wearing of make up, jewellery, length of uniform;
  • school based uniform policies should promote freedom of choice for all students by categorising options by clothing type rather than by gender, for example, shorts, trousers, skirts, rather than boy’s uniform/ girl’s uniform.
  • of the items which a school designates as a school uniform, limiting a student’s choice of school uniform items to dress in due to gender may infringe the ACT Discrimination Act (1991).
  • uniforms should provide all students with equal access to the full range of school activities.

The policy also states that schools should provide opportunities for students to suggest uniform items that would be appealing to the student cohort from the perspective of style, easy maintenance and comfort.

Thus all state schools in the ACT that do not offer girls the options of shorts and long pants appear to be in contravention of the Education Directorate’s policy.

This guidelines document can be found here: