Girls at NSW public schools have choice to wear shorts and pants

Parents' views: Bronwyn Eyles and Sallie Johnston, with four-year-old Melanie, support changes to the public school uniform policy.

Parents' views: Bronwyn Eyles and Sallie Johnston, with four-year-old Melanie, support changes to the public school uniform policy.

Parents have welcomed a new public school uniform policy which includes for the first time an option for girls to wear shorts and pants.

The modern makeover to the policy applies to public schools across the state.

Many public schools already allow girls to wear shorts and pants but the new policy takes that a step further saying girls must have the option to wear shorts and pants.

Port Macquarie parent Bronwyn Eyles said it was a fabulous idea.

“It gives them a choice and more freedom,” she said.

“If they have that freedom and are able to choose, then they don’t have to feel restricted.”

Mrs Eyles said giving girls the option to wear shorts and pants to school meant they would not feel self-conscious.

Port Macquarie parent Sallie Johnston said it would come down to individual choice.

“Giving them the option to choose will definitely help their self-confidence,” she said.

Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams said: “I think this is yet another example of equal opportunity for students at public schools across NSW.

“Having the choice for girls to be able to wear shorts and pants is a step forward.

“I am pleased that parents’ voices have been heard and the government has responded accordingly.”

The public school uniform policy is being streamlined in an effort to make things simpler and more affordable for schools and parents.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Education Minister Rob Stokes announced the new policy.

“Back when I was in public school, there was no option,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“The new modern makeover makes uniforms practical and comfortable for students with affordability for parents front and centre.”

The new policy states all schools include items which are affordable, comfortable and made from easy-care fabric.

Mr Stokes believes the new policy will be popular with schools, students and parents as it is simple to understand.

The previous policy was 24 pages.

Mr Stokes said the government had heard parents loud and clear and addressed the amount of notice for schools changing their uniforms following feedback.

“Most families buy items to last several years, so we have changed the notification period to three years on costly apparel, so parents aren’t caught out having to re-purchase expensive items such as blazers,” he said.

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