Health and Safety Considerations

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Purpose of this policy

To ensure student dress codes meet health and safety requirements.


Student dress codes must take into account health and safety considerations including:

  • sun protection
  • risks from jewellery, cords, chinstraps, drawstrings or school bags.

Sun protection


  • with a uniform must ensure a sun protective hat is included, at least as an option, as part of the uniform
  • without a uniform must permit sun protective hats in their dress code.

Note: Schools should encourage students to wear a sun protective hat outside from September to April.

Jewellery, cords, chinstraps and drawstrings

Jewellery, hat cords, chinstraps and drawstrings present risks of injury or strangulation, particularly:

  • when worn in the head and neck area
  • for primary students engaged in active outdoor play.

When developing a dress code, schools should consider:

  • the jewellery students are permitted to wear
  • selecting hats (or other garments) without cords, chinstraps or drawstrings
  • using safety cords designed to detach if caught.

School bags

Carrying school bags may pose risks of back pain or damage due to:

  • poor design or poorly fitting school bags
  • students carrying bags incorrectly
  • students carrying loads that are too heavy.

Schools should:

  • select school bags that:
    • minimise the risk of back injury to students
    • are endorsed by an Australian professional organisation such as the Australian Physiotherapy Association or the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia
  • consider strategies to prevent students from carrying loads that are too heavy.

Related policies

Department resource

Other resources

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