AN angry father has accused a school of “pettiness” after his daughter was removed from class due to her Mohican hairstyle.
Harmony Roberts a pupil at Palatine Sports College, was told she must be taught in isolation after turning up for school with the sides of her head shaved.
But her father, Michael, who lives on Freckleton Street, Blackpool, decided to keep the 16-year-old home from the South Shore school saying learning was ineffective away from usual lessons.
He told The Gazette: “Harmony was told she has to be taught on her own until her hair grows back, but she doesn’t learn anything from sitting in a classroom alone.
“She has stayed home learning from the internet instead, it’s more effective than sat doing nothing at school, it just seems like pettiness to me.
“Her hair wasn’t sticking up, it was flat to her head and looks quite smart.
“She gets eczema on her scalp but it’s cleared up since she had it shaved.
“Her hairstyle doesn’t affect her learning, being in school and in her normal classes where she can learn should be the most important thing.”
The school today said Harmony was not sent home and denied she was kept in isolation for any significant time.
Headteacher Chris Powell, from the St Annes Road school, said: “No student has ever been excluded from school regarding uniform concerns.
“Palatine has high standards and expectations of all our students with regards to uniform and with regards to all aspects related to their education.
“However anybody who is not in the correct uniform will be challenged and a consistent application of school policy will be upheld.
“With reference to hairstyles, students are regularly reminded of expectations and our policy states parents are asked to contact the school to seek clarification on such matters when necessary.
“It is important to send the consistent message out to all students.
“Our approach has reaped rewards, academic achievement has risen significantly in recent years.
“This can be attributed to the positive ethos which has been developed at the school over this period.”
The subject of pupils being removed from class hit the headlines earlier this week with Children’s Commissioner Dr Maggie Atkinson accusing some schools of illegally excluding – sending home – pupils.
In her report named They Never Give Up On You, Dr Atkinson called on the Department of Education to ban schools from excluding pupils for offences such as breaking uniform rules, wearing jewellery, dying their hair or chewing gum.
Dr Atkinson says pupils should only be sent home for safety reasons or to prevent disruption to other pupils and any other reason damages education and pushes pupils towards “a life of crime”