Orara High School

Opportunity Innovation Success

Telephone02 6652 1077



Why is it important to wear school uniform?

At Orara High School, we want the very best for our students and we firmly believe our students deserve the best. We believe that wearing the school uniform gives a sense of pride and belonging to our students who are part of something special and unique. We wish for our students to look, feel and be the very best they can be. 

We understand that the initial outlay for school uniform can be costly. To help us achieve our goal of excellence we would like to extend to all our families support in acquiring the correct school uniform. We currently provide families with assistance in two ways: we have a clothing pool of pre-loved uniform items and we offer financial assistance for families to purchase the school uniform. We wish to see every child in full school uniform and so are very keen to assist families where possible. Please don’t hesitate to contact the school for an assistance form so that we can work together to support your child or children.

School shoes can be particularly expensive, but we have had issues this year with parents spending a lot of money on footwear which clearly does not take note of the above information. We would very much like to avoid this as it puts the school at odds with the student which is not what any of us would wish for and is a negative start to the term for all concerned. We are very happy to provide assistance in this area by helping parents/carers with the purchasing of the correct shoes.

The reason for expecting students to wear enclosed leather shoes is for safety. To meet departmental Work Health and Safety requirements students must wear enclosed leather shoes. Students participate in science experiments, handling chemicals and equipment that could potential injury their toes and feet if they were to be spilt or dropped. Students also participate in woodwork, metalwork and other practical activities involving equipment and materials that can be heavy and potentially dangerous if dropped. Black is a standard colour for leather shoes and presents as smart, neat and well-dressed.

We wish to encourage a neat, orderly and professional appearance for all members of our school. Jewellery that does not pose a potential safety risk is permitted. This is because these items may catch, or be caught, on other items and can be ripped from the ear lobe, causing significant damage. For example, hoop earrings or earrings that are long and swing can be dangerous and are not permitted; ear studs/rings and nose studs/rings are permitted; rings and bracelets that do not pose a potential safety risk are permitted. All jewellery brought into school is entirely at the student’s own risk. Students will be required to remove any jewellery that is considered unsafe. Make up is discouraged, however, we understand students want to look and feel their best. As such, make up that provides a natural look is permitted. Students will be required to remove any excessive make up. Long hair must be tied back for safety reasons in practical subjects.

We are very proud of students who aim high and participate in these events, and as such, we believe strongly that students should be allowed to proudly wear these items. For example, students who participate in CHS competitions, School Spectacular or AIME, and have purchased, or been presented with, representative jumpers or shirts, are permitted to wear these. It is expected, however, that students will be in full school uniform for formal events, such as presentation ceremonies or school photo day. All students should understand that staff have the right to ask students to remove any items of clothing that do not comply with the school uniform on these occasions.

In enforcing the school uniform code, we desire that parents/carers and students understand the reasons for having a school uniform. The information below outlines reasons for school uniform and worldwide research conducted into the benefits of having and enforcing a school uniform code:

School uniforms increase student safety

  • A year after Sparks Middle School (USA) instituted a uniform policy, data showed a 63% drop in police log reports, and decreases were also noted in gang activity, student physical and verbal fights, graffiti, property damage.
  • A peer-reviewed study found that schools with uniform policies had 12% fewer firearm-related incidents and 15% fewer drug-related incidents than schools without uniforms.
  • School uniforms also prevent students from concealing weapons under baggy clothing.
  • School uniforms make intruders on school site more visible. When you have students dressed alike, you make them safer. If someone were to come into our school, the intruder would easily be recognised.

School uniforms keep students focused on their learning, not their clothes

  • A bulletin published by the National Association of Secondary School Principals stated that "When all students are wearing the same outfit, they are less concerned about how they look and how they fit in with their peers; thus, they can concentrate on their schoolwork."
  • A study by the University of Houston found that elementary school girls' language test scores increased by about three percentile points after uniforms were introduced.
  • Uniforms provide for less distraction, less drama, and more of a focus on learning.

School uniforms create a level playing field among students, reducing peer pressure

  • When all students are dressed alike, competition between students over clothing choices and the teasing of those who are dressed in less expensive or less fashionable outfits can be eliminated.
  • Research by the Schoolwear Association found that 83% of respondents thought “a good school uniform could prevent bullying based on appearance or economic background."
  • Uniforms put all kids on the same playing field in terms of their appearance. It gives them a sense of belonging and a feeling of being socially accepted.

Wearing uniform enhances school pride, unity, and community spirit

  • A study from Oxford University in the UK found that uniforms "often directly contributed to a feeling of school pride."
  • A study of over 1,000 Texas middle school students found that students in uniform "reported significantly more positive perceptions of belonging in their school community than reported by students in the standard dress group."
  • Arnold Goldstein, PhD, head of the Centre for Research on Aggression at Syracuse University, stated that uniforms help troubled students feel they have the support of a community: "There is a sense of belonging."
  • A peer-reviewed study found that after uniforms were introduced, "Teachers perceived an increase in the level of respect, caring, and trust... throughout the school", and said, "students are made to feel 'important' and as if they are a part of a team by wearing a uniform."

School uniforms can improve attendance and behaviour

  • Macquarie University (Australia) researchers found that in schools across the world where uniform policies are enforced, students "are more disciplined" and "listen significantly better, there are lower noise levels, and lower teaching waiting times with classes starting on time."
  • A study by researchers at the University of Houston found that the average absence rate for girls in middle and high school decreased by 7% after the introduction of uniforms. The study also found that "behavioural problems shift[ed] towards less severe infractions."
  • A Youngstown State University study of secondary schools in Ohio's eight largest school districts found that school uniform policies improve rates of attendance, graduation, and suspension.

School uniforms make getting ready for school easier, which can improve punctuality

  • When uniforms are mandatory, parents and students do not spend time choosing appropriate outfits for the school day.
  • According to a national survey, over 90% of US school leaders believe school uniform or formal dress code policies "eliminate wardrobe battles with kids," make it "easier to get kids ready in the morning," and create a "time saving in the morning."

School uniforms can save parents money

  • A study of uniform cost in the United Kingdom found that uniforms cost parents £88.05 ($128.79) per outfit, while out-of-school outfits averaged £113.00 ($165.79).
  • A national survey of 517 US school leaders found that 94% of those surveyed believe "one of the main benefits to parents is that school uniforms are more cost-effective than regular apparel," and 77% estimated the average annual cost of school uniforms per child to be $150 or less.
  • Without school uniform, parents may feel pressure to compete with other families by purchasing fashionable clothes for their children.


What happens if a student doesn't wear their school uniform?

  • We understand that occasionally a student is unable to wear full school uniform. On these occasions it is expected that parents/carers will provide a signed written note informing the school of the reasons.
  • In the event of a student arriving to school, not in full uniform, the student’s roll call teacher will issue them with an ‘Out of Uniform’ pass.
  • If a student does not supply a note from home explaining the reasons for not being in full school uniform, the teacher will record the unexplained infringement on Sentral (our school record system). An SMS will be sent to parents/carers informing them of this infringement.
  • The roll call teacher will issue a detention because the student is not following the school rules. The roll call teacher will also phone home to offer assistance and determine the best way to support the student to wear full school uniform.
  • If the student accrues three detentions for being out of uniform without a note, they will be referred to the head teacher of the roll call teacher who will issue an afterschool detention (ASD) because they are persistently not following the school rules. The head teacher will phone home to offer school assistance in supporting the student to wear full school uniform.
  • If a student persists in not following the school rules, they may be referred to the deputy principal who will issue a formal caution for persistent disobedience.
  • Continued disregard for the school rules may result in suspension.