Primary school pupils denied play due to 'unacceptable' haircuts

A school in Tipton has warned parents their children will not be allowed out during break time if they continue to attend with 'unacceptable' hairstyles.

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Summerhill Primary School has banned boys from having hair shorter than grade-two length as well as 'small ponytails' on a shaved head while girls' bobbles and headbands must be blue or black.

Leaders said the policy had been enforced as the styles could cause distractions or raise 'health and safety concerns'.

But a parent has hit out at the school after she said she was told her seven-year-old son's hair would have to change as it was 'not acceptable'.

A letter has been sent home to parents which warns children who don't comply will have to stay indoors while their classmates enjoy playtime 'until the matter is resolved'.

Lauren Dale, whose son Mason is in Year 3, believes the Upper Church Lane school have gone too far in punishing the children.

Part of the youngster's hair is shaved at grade-one level – 3mm long – which goes against school policy which states hair must be no shorter than grade two, which is 6mm long.

Miss Dale said: "For the last couple of years he has had short back and sides with a side parting and nothing has ever been said.

"It's ridiculous. I think it is too extreme. If he had a Mohican sprayed blue then I could understand."

Mason is in Year 3 at Summerhill Primary School
Mason is in Year 3 at Summerhill Primary School

In the letter to parents, the school says it has experienced 'more and more children coming to school with hairstyles that are unacceptable' and that parents will be given until a certain date to rectify their child's hair. If they fail to adhere, the child will have to stay in at break, it states.

Miss Dale, aged 27, said: "He goes to school, wears his uniform, has had 100 per cent attendance, works hard and is never in trouble. That is what is important."

However, head teacher Kerry Rochester defended the school's 'high standards'.

Headteacher Kerry Rochester said: "Both parents and pupils are made aware of our high expectations and aspirations before they choose the school and we have a very clear uniform and presentation policy which includes hairstyles.

"This has been in place for several years and is no different to that of a number of other schools.

"Unfortunately, if a parent chooses to disregard our policies and not support the school, then we will keep their child in at break until the matter is resolved."

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