| 24.07,18. 04:18 PM |
School uniform policy change gives NSW girls option of shorts or trousers
Photo: The new policy will force all government schools to give female students uniform options. (AAP, file)
Girls attending public primary and secondary schools in NSW will be given the option of wearing shorts or trousers under new policy changes.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Education Minister Rob Stokes are set to announce changes to the schools uniform policy today, forcing all government schools to let girls wear pants if they want to.
Currently, it is up to the discretion of each individual school as to whether it is allowed or not.
Schools will also be made to give parents at least three years' notice before introducing changes to big ticket items, such as blazers, in an effort to protect against rising costs.
It is the most significant overhaul of the uniform policy in more than a decade.
The old document drawn up in 2004 — which clocked in at 24 pages — has now been reduced to just two pages.
The new policy calls on all school items to be "affordable, comfortable and suitable" for all body types.
Parent advocate 'ecstatic' at policy change
Melissa Mibus is one parent who welcomes the changes.
Ms Mibus won her battle against NSW public school John Palmer so her three daughters could wear trousers in winter.
She said she was relieved to hear the changes would be rolled out across the state.
"I am ecstatic," she said.
"It's wonderful for all girls in New South Wales public schools.
"I'm trying to teach my daughters that if something isn't right that they should work to change it, and I don't believe the former policy was right.
"I want to encourage my girls to be active and to participate. But when it's freezing cold and they're being made to wear dresses, it's really hard for me to say 'well, yes you should be running around the oval kicking the soccer ball' — because I wouldn't do that."
Mr Stokes said the changes would make it easier for girls to participate and engage with sports and activities at school.
"This policy's the result of listening to parents, and teachers and students about some of the frustrations of an overly complex policy document," he said.
"Uniforms should be affordable, they should be simple, they should be comfortable. That's what this policy is all about.
"It's all about ensuring that girls in particular have the opportunity to wear pants as well as skirts, recognising that it makes it so much easier to engage in sports and activities around the schoolyard and just to have that flexibility and comfort."