Mum slams primary school over son’s ‘extreme’ haircut threat

Connor McGowans hairstyle which has left him under threat of being placed in isolation
Connor McGowans hairstyle which has left him under threat of being placed in isolation
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An angry mum has slammed her son’s primary school after being told his “short back and sides” haircut was “extreme” and against school policy.

Michelle McGowan was told in a phone call from Lowerhouse Junior School headteacher Claire Holgate that her 10-year-old son Connor’s haircut was not suitable.

In my opinion it is a short back and sides, and not extreme at all

Michelle McGowan

The mum-of-two was told that his haircut must be re-styled and if not he would be placed in isolation.

Michelle said: “I couldn’t believe it when the headteacher rang me up to say Connor’s hairstyle was unsuitable for school.

“She said that the haircut had lines in it at the back, which is against school policy. If there are lines they are very faint.

“In my opinion it is a short back and sides, and not extreme at all. Miss Holgate said that the back should be all the same length and that I should have it re-done.

“I told her the only way to do this would be a skinhead, which would be more extreme. I’m not prepared to do this.

“I cannot believe that she said he would be placed in isolation if this was not done.”

Michelle, whose other child four-year-old Evie attends Ightenhill Primary School, said she was worried about how the argument would affect Connor who has been off sick since the dispute began.

Mrs Holgate said: “We pride ourselves on setting high standards of behaviour and appearance and hairstyles are an important part of that.

“We make very clear in our school uniform policy, which all parents are aware of, that extreme haircuts are not acceptable.

“It would not be appropriate to comment on this particular case but we have very good relationships with our parents and give them the opportunity to rectify problems when they arise.”

The school’s policy on hairstyles, which is sent out to all parents, states:

“Hairstyles must be sensible and appropriate for school, extreme haircuts are not acceptable.

“Shaven heads or any haircut which involves the shaving of lines or symbols, extreme colouration or particularly noticebale variations in colour or length will almost certainly be judged as extreme by the school.

“Long hair must be tied back to reduce the possible transference of headlice and for health and safety reasons in PE. Hair gel is not permitted in school.

“The definition of an extreme hairstyle is at the discretion of the headteacher.”

Lowerhouse Junior School made headlines last year when Mrs Holgate, who came to the school the previous May, oversaw a rapid transformation in the school’s fortunes following a damning Ofsted report in 2013.

Mrs Holgate guided the school from special measures to a good rating in 12 months.

However, there were headlines of the wrong sort in November last year when the school had its Key Stage 2 exam results annulled as a result of “maladministration”.

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