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Exclusion for hair?

(41 Posts)
salcita1 Tue 04-Dec-12 18:03:18

Hello everyone,

I need some help with an issue regarding my sons hair. He was isolated today and was not permitted to attend any of his lessons. Reason for this was because his hair was too short.

I did not get a letter from the school or a note given to my son. I checked the school's policies and their code of conduct and there is nothing regarding hair, only in regards to uniform and female student's wearing make-up and jewelry.

Can they do this? Legally?

freerangeeggs Sun 09-Dec-12 19:11:40

Maybe if you, and others like you, are valuing appearance over skills and suitability then you're a much bigger problem that I am.

TalkinPeace2 Sun 09-Dec-12 19:13:28

fair enough, but I am the person doing the hiring. get your pupils used to it.

ohfunnyface Sun 09-Dec-12 19:49:09

It's a reality of life that people are judged for their appearance- I don't think that's going to change, and I don't think I want to fight to change it.

Appearances matter- gender, race, sexuality don't.

FreckledLeopard Sun 09-Dec-12 19:56:38

Appearance and conformity - to an extent - are pretty crucial in a lot of professions. I'm a lawyer - we have policies at work about dress code and appearance. Clients expect professional standards and appearance is part of that. Might not be right, but it is the way of the world. Children need to learn that as they get older and apply for jobs (even Saturday jobs), they need to look smart and well-turned out (as well as learn to smile, have good posture, good handshake, eye contact and confidence).

Loshad Sun 09-Dec-12 21:30:53

i struggle to believe you are a teacher free range, if so you do your pupils a huge diservice if you have them think that appearances don't matter, or that many jobs do not have dress codes - even asda have uniforms!

Kez100 Sun 09-Dec-12 22:34:18

There are very few jobs where a smart, clean appearance isn't required. I'm self employed and could turn up in whatever get up I wanted, however the business people who employ me may not be so impressed. New clients are offered a free hour of my time and, in that short time, I have to sell myself. That doesn't mean Burberry and Sorbie haircuts but it does mean smart and well kept.

It's reality.

freerangeeggs Sun 09-Dec-12 23:07:37

First of all, it's not me that makes my school policy. I tell the boys to do up their top buttons, tell the girls to pull their skirts down, etc just as often as I'm required to do. I'm glad I went to university for five years so that I could complete this difficult and important task. So the suggestion that I somehow impart to my pupils the opinion that 'appearances don't matter' (not my opinion that they don't - but yes, it's my opinion that they shouldn't) is frankly stupid and not based on anything I've said in my previous posts.

My suggestion in my previous post was that short hair is associated with certain racial and socio-economic groups and as such any rule against it will disproportionately affect children from those groups.

That's fine. Have a rule, even if it is pointless. But when the result of an infraction is the exclusion from education of a child whom the school is supposed to serve, you've crossed a line. It is no longer in the child's best interests and as such you are doing that child a disservice.

At the very least this is an over-the-top response to a minor infraction. I have seen children swear and shout at teachers, cause fights with other pupils, bully and throw chairs who received lesser punishments than this child has received for letting his mum cut his hair short.

And to the poster who said that "gender, race and sexuality don't matter" - you must be very naive.

creamteas Mon 10-Dec-12 10:52:23

Uniform infringements are used subjectively in my experience, so not everyone who breaks the rules gets punished.

My eldest two DS were both very different pupils, one was academic, engaged positively and was a high achiever. His many and varied uniform infringements were never picked up on. The other one was not academic, hated school and did the minimum if that. He was not let off any of the uniform rules and attended many a DT as punishment (which only served to make his dissatisfaction with school greater).

The school always denied the difference, but it was there.

gingeroots Mon 10-Dec-12 11:24:58

schools HAVE to make their kids employable

Many jobs are boring ,mundane .
I have coped with such jobs because my education allowed me to find other ways to nourish my mind and spirit .

I do so hope that this factor is included in the "making kids employable " .

freerangeeggs I wish you'd taught my son .

libelulle Mon 10-Dec-12 11:43:30

freerangeeggs I hope my (currently reception and pre-school aged) kids encounter as many teachers like you as possible in future! I am amazed and horrified at the idea of excluding a child from education for a haircut. And to those saying 'ah but lawyers can't have pink hair' - well I have a sneaking suspicion that the top set, engaged, clever child with pink hair that freerangeeggs mentioned, once they'd got their a-levels and a law degree, would probably work that one out for themselves without too much trouble. Though probably they would have the sense to choose a profession where pink hair is neither here nor there. I know a rather distinguished professor at a top university who has a fine head of purple/pink/green/orange hair, depending on her mood and the seasons, and it doesn't seem to have held her career back.

titchy Mon 10-Dec-12 11:52:45

Whatever posters' feelings about uniform and hair regulations, let's just be absolutely clear - the OP's child is NOT being denied his education. I doubt there is any state school in the land that would EXCLUDE (as opposed to an internal exclusion) any child just for uniform infringements. In addition any child that is excluded, is also provided with an education elsewhere.

So let's not believe that this child, or any other, is being denied an education because their hair or skirt is too short.

gingeroots Mon 10-Dec-12 11:57:19

So what are the school doing to him titchy ?

creamteas Mon 10-Dec-12 12:31:09

Titchy Technically if the child is in school they are receiving an education.

But in my experience the education provided in internal exclusion areas is not comparable to what they would be doing in the classroom. He will not necessarily be following the usual scheme of work, or have access to specialist areas (such as science labs). So whilst they are still being educated, they are denied the education they should have received

titchy Mon 10-Dec-12 15:42:55

Well according to the op he was in isolation, which means he was given work but isolated from his peers. He wasn't being denied an education.

Creamteas - that was exactly the point I was making!

freerangeeggs Mon 10-Dec-12 19:14:21

I monitored internal exclusion last period today. The pupils in there had half-heatedly completed a couple of worksheets and effectively learned nothing all day.

ContinentalKat Mon 10-Dec-12 19:29:45

thanks for your earlier comments, free range.
I wish more people in education shared your point of view.

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