Boy barred from school for haircut

Robert Hudson with his granddad Brian.
Robert Hudson with his granddad Brian.

TEACHERS took a schoolboy home and offered to pay for him to have his hair cut after barring him from class because of his new hairstyle.

Robert Hudson, 12, had his hair cut on Tuesday evening, having the sides shaved off but leaving the top and back untouched.

Robert Hudson.

Robert Hudson.

But when he got to English Martyrs School the following morning after his £6 trim, he was taken home and told by teachers that he wouldn’t be allowed into class until he had his hair cut into a more acceptable style and was escorted home within 20 minutes.

Staff at the school even offered to pay for a new haircut. But Robert’s granddad and legal guardian Brian Hudson refused the offer and said he was “livid” with the whole situation.

The school says its policy on haircuts is clear and children’s attainment is linked to their appearance.

Mr Hudson, 58, accused the school of putting Robert’s hairstyle before his education.

He said: “They won’t educate him because of his haircut but it doesn’t state in their rules and regulations what type of haircut is permitted, all they say is it’s not school policy.

“They say it is an extreme haircut. The member of staff explained because it is not level all the way round he won’t be allowed in school until he gets it cut.

“If it was a Mohican or something I would agree, but it is away from his face and eyes.

“They have even offered to take him to the barbers and pay to get it re-cut.

“I will certainly not let them do that. It annoys me to death. I’m livid.”

English Martyrs’ guidance says pupils’ haircuts are expected to be “reasonable” with no hair dye and adds incorporated shapes and patterns are not acceptable.

But Mr Hudson, who is unemployed, from the Oxford Road area of town, says they do not specify which styles of haircut are acceptable and which are banned.

Robert’s attendance at school has recently dipped to 79 per cent because of health worries including asthma and a condition that makes his feet swell up, and his granddad is anxious the youngster does not miss any more time off school than is absolutely necessary.

He added: “I think it is a smart haircut. They are putting a haircut over his education, which is wrong.

“If they think a haircut style is more important than a child’s education, they want their heads looking at.

“If we kept him off school deliberately we will get prosecuted but they send him home because of his haircut.

“He wants to go to school. He thinks its stupid.”

Michael Lee, headteacher of English Martyrs RC School and Sixth Form College, said: “The school’s hairstyle policy is in the School Prospectus and on our website along with other policies to ensure that parents/guardians are well aware of the standards we set at English Martyrs.

“The policy clearly states that hairstyles incorporating shapes/patterns are not acceptable and that any student attending with an unacceptable hairstyle will be unable to access lessons in the normal way until this has been attended to.

“In an effort to get Robert back into school, we did offer to pay for another haircut but unfortunately this was rejected by his family.

“Research by Ofsted shows that there is a clear correlation between high standards of behaviour, uniform and appearance and educational attainment and this view is shared by English Martyrs.”