Updated Education Department Policy Puts to Rest The Gap State High Uniform Issue

Photo credit: The Australian Schools Directory

With the Department of Education updating the Student Dress Code procedure, issues around uniforms at The Gap State High School (GSHS) could finally be put to rest.

Earlier this year, GSHS encountered an issue with their uniform policy following parents’ uproar upon learning that over 100 students were sent to detention for not abiding by the proper uniform rules, specifically the shoes’ heel requirement.

Read: The Gap State High School Caught In A Uniform Frenzy, Next P&C Meeting Might Be A Full House
Read: Uniform Working Group To Review The Gap State High School’s Uniform And Dress Code Policy

To resolve such issues, the Department of Education has made changes on the Student Dress Code process. Education Minister Grace Grace announced that all Queensland state schools must provide more uniform choices for girls by 2019.

Ms Grace mentioned that at the beginning of this year, she heard from students, parents, and carers that a change in the policy is needed. She asked the Department to make necessary changes to the policy to ensure that all state schools are offering a full range of uniform options that include pants and shorts for girls.

In fact, when the uniform issue in GSHS happened, Ms Grace already showed support in making changes to the uniforms.

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“I support The Gap State High School principal and the school community’s actions in enforcing the uniform policy and urge all parties to take a common sense approach and work together to resolve this issue at the school level,” Ms Grace said.

She also wants to see students, especially girls, comfortable in doing any physical activities at their respective schools.

“All Queensland girls should be able to engage in active play and classroom activities or ride their bikes to and from school without being restricted by what they’re wearing,” she said.

The New Uniform Policy Procedure

The department is leaving the choice to schools to select a design, colour, and style of uniforms but they must consult the community.

In accordance with section 360 of the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (QLD), principals may develop a student dress code that will apply when students are attending or representing the school.

In doing so, the dress codes must:

  • be developed in consultation with the school community
  • be consistent with health and safety considerations
  • comply with anti-discrimination legislation
  • consider affordability, functionality, and durability of uniform items
  • provide uniform options, such as shorts and pants, in all uniform categories for all students regardless of gender

For their part, parents must support the dress code as part of the enrolment agreement. They are expected to provide support to students to abide by the dress code and request short or long-term modifications of exemptions to the dress code in writing with reasons for the request. Parents should also work with the school to resolve issues when it comes to student compliance with the school’s dress code, and engage in the consultation process.

To know more about the procedure, click here.