Givan Seeks Views On School Uniform Policy

Education Minister consults public on views over school uniform policy

Education Minister Paul Givan has launched a public consultation seeking views on school uniform policy.

On 5th March he expressed his intention to launch a consultation on placing current guidance for schools on uniform policy into legislation and also the introduction of a price cap for school uniforms.

The Minister has previously said that he wanted to ensure no families are excluded from the school of their choice because of the prohibitive cost of a uniform.

NI Education Minister Paul Givan MLA has launched a public consultation on school uniforms.

Launching the consultation, the Minister said: “I am clear that my over-arching aim is to ensure that all school governing bodies put affordability, comfort and sustainability at the centre of their decision-making when they set their school uniform requirements.

“School uniforms play an important part in the engagement of pupils with their school. I recognise that many schools in Northern Ireland follow the existing guidance and work hard to keep the costs of school uniforms as low as possible.

“However, I know that some schools continue to have uniform policies where certain items are expensive or restrictive in where parents or carers can buy a uniform.”

The Department has engaged with key interest groups and stakeholders, and this has informed the current proposals outlined in the consultation document. The consultation focuses on two key areas:

a. introducing statutory guidance; and,

b. introducing a cap on uniform costs.

The Minister added: “At a time of growing pressure on family budgets, the cost of a school uniform should not be a factor that parents or carers need to consider when selecting which school they wish their child to attend.

“I want to create a system where schools, supported by appropriate legislation and policy, will ensure that their uniforms are affordable for all.” 

 “I encourage as many people as possible to give their views and feedback on the consultation proposals in order to shape final policy proposals and legislation on this important issue.”

The consultation period will run from 20 June 2024 until 27 September inclusive.


The consultation centres around six key principles which will underpin the proposed guidance on uniforms These principles are that:

a. school uniforms should be:

  • affordable,
  • comfortable and
  • sustainable; and,

b. school uniform policies should be:

  • developed in partnership with pupils and their parents/ carers,
  • published and
  • regularly reviewed.

The consultation documents and online questionnaire can be accessed at: 

School Uniform Policy Consultation | Department of Education (