QUESTION: Government puts in a new dress code and my kids’ sizes are all out of stock in their uniform shop. The Minister of Education talking about 3 strikes and you’re out with regard to uniform compliance? And what does she mean by that anyway? Will they be expelled? What about their constitutional right to an education?
ANSWER: We obtained the following response from Education Department:
Principals may be faced with conscientious or ‘principled’ objections by individual parents to their child’s adhering to the dress code, or of individual items specified within the dress code requirements.
Objections may be based on sensitive issues, such as religious, cultural or family traditions, family circumstances or financial issues that may not be disclosed readily. These objections must be respected. Non-confrontational approaches should be used to engage parents in clarifying the reasons for their objection. In such cases short-term variations or long-term exemptions may apply. Where the health and safety of the student or of other students would otherwise be compromised, students may be excluded from certain educational activities.
Students may also be excluded from such activities if such student’s clothing compromises agreed-upon school community standards, as articulated in the school uniform requirements, and/or might be considered damaging to the image of the school in the larger community context.
However students are expected to conform to the dress code rules. If a student does not comply with expectations, without an exemption having been authorised, then consequences should be applied as described in the Student Code of Conduct-Teacher guidance or as follows:
First Offence: Speak to student (preferably in private) to encourage adhering to the dress code and inform parents/legal guardians in writing. If this offence involves the wearing of make-up or jewellery, both should be removed. School may also provide a loaned uniform for student to wear, depending on the breach.
Second Offence: Student to receive detention and parents to be informed via a phone call and a warning that a third offence will require the student to be sent home. If this offence involves jewellery, the jewellery is to be confiscated. The confiscated jewellery will be available for collection by a parent or legal guardian from the school office, after a time as determined by the Principal.
Third Offence: Student to be sent home and the Principal or relevant staff to meet with the
parents/legal guardians regarding the issue. The absence should be recorded for each session missed by the student as a result of being sent home.