The wearing of a school uniform is not governed by legislation but falls to schools to determine.

Guidance for schools

The day-to-day management of schools, including school uniform policy, is a matter for school Principals, subject to any directions that might be given by the Board of Governors. 

The Department has provided guidance for schools on school uniform policy. The original circular was issued on 30 March 2011 and was reissued on 5 June 2018 with updated contact details otherwise the guidance remains unchanged and provides advice only.

Prior to the issue of the circular the Department carried out a focused consultation on the draft guidance. You can view a summary of the responses here:

Help with clothing costs

Families who are on benefits or on low income, could be entitled to clothing grants. The eligibility criteria are similar to those used for free school meals. Information for parents on school uniforms and how to apply for a clothing grant can be found on NI Direct.

The grant does not apply to pupils in attendance at nursery schools, nursery units or reception classes.


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