NSW public schools will change girls’ uniforms
EVERY public school will be forced to offer girls the option of wearing shorts and pants instead of a dress under a statewide overhaul to the government's uniform policy.
The new policy also mandates that schools give parents at least three years' notice before making any significant changes - like adding a blazer - to ensure families are protected against cost rises.
The Daily Telegraph can today reveal Education Minister Rob Stokes has ripped up the 24-page school uniform policy for primary and secondary public schools and replaced it with a simpler two-page document.
Should girls have the option to wear shorts or pants?
This poll ended on 24 August 2018.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
It is the most significant overhaul of the school uniform policy in more than a decade.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian supports girls having the option to wear the same uniform as boys.
"Back when I was in public school, there was no option. The new modern makeover makes uniforms practical and comfortable for students, with affordability for parents front and centre," Ms Berejiklian said.
Previously it was a matter of individual school discretion if they allowed girls to wear shorts and pants.
Mr Stokes said the new policy is considerably easier for parents and schools to understand.
"Parents asked for a better policy and I am proud to provide one," he said.
"It is important to remember that families need to have access to the most affordable uniforms possible."
The ruling that uniforms must be affordable is a reminder to schools to not massively push up prices by using pricey materials such as fair trade cotton or cashmere.
The three-year notice period is being enforced to ensure parents aren't forced to re-spend hundreds of dollars on new uniforms after they just purchased them.
"For families we know every dollar counts and we want to do everything possible to drive down cost of living pressures," Ms Berejiklian said.
The new policy states that all schools include items that are affordable, comfortable, made from easy care fabric and "suitable for all body shapes".
Last year The Daily Telegraph revealed mum Melissa Mibus fought for her daughter's school, John Palmer Public School, to provide pants as part of the school uniform.
The school eventually allowed girls to wear pants with Ms Mibus taking the matter to the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board.
Bathurst Public School was embroiled in controversy in 2013 after they banned girls from wearing shorts and made dresses mandatory.