Australian School Uniform: Regional Trends--South Australia

Figure 1.--Australian boys commonly wear grey or other colored shirt for every day wear. These boys wear a light blue shirt. For special occasions they put on white shirts. Thes boys are from a private school in Adelaide.

Adelaide is the capital of South Australia. A reader writes, "I can only give you an insight into the uniforms worn by students who attend schools in Adelaide. Although, I would hazard a guess that the rest of Australia would be pretty much in line with Adelaide's school uniforms. Uniforms are worn at most private schools, but many state schools have discontinued uniforms."

Private Schools

Almost all private Adelaside private schools in Adelaide reuire school uniforms. The private schools in Adelaide have always had a typical school uniform similar in appearance to the English uniforms. The students who wear the uniforms can be divided into two groups: 1) Junior students (aged 5 to 12 years old) and 2) Senior students (aged 13 to 18 years old.

State Schools

Public or state schools are the non-fee paying state-supported schools. There was a trend through the 1970s to 90s for most state schools to drop the uniform and let the students wear what they liked. I believe this was a great mistake for a couple of reasons. 1) Most students lost pride in their school once the uniform was dropped. It was not just the uniform standards that were dropped but other areas within these school also suffered. This I believe led to the students losing pride in their school. 2) It was harder and more expensive for the parents to keep up with the fashion parade that was now inevitable in the schools. Those students from poor families struggled to keep up with the latest fashions thereby creating another problem of social class. It appears that some of the schools have recognised these problems and are starting to do something about it. They are starting to re-introduce some sort of a uniform. It may be only a shirt with the schools emblem on it coupled with track pants or similar. At least it is a step in the right direction. However, there are some schools that have gone back to the traditional uniform and for all intents and purposes, they look similar to the students form a private school. These schools are known as Technical High schools. It was both Primary and Secondary schools that dropped the uniforms. They both are currently trying to re-introduce the uniforms, some schools more than others. It is hard to put a percentage figure on which schools have taken this path. I guess that most schools have tried to re-introduce the uniform in some way or another. It might only be a T-shirt with the school logo on, where as some schools are trying to head back towards the traditional style of uniform. Thereis no longer a major difference between primary and secondary schools. The uniforms are pretty much the same. The Technical schools are pretty close to the traditional school uniform, where as most primary schools would wear a more relaxed uniform without the tie.


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Created: January 24, 2004
Last updated: January 27, 2004