Mum’s court threat over son’s ‘haircut’ ban from classroom

The mum at the centre of a row over her son’s haircut – which led to him being taught in isolation – has threatened court action against the school if he is not allowed back in to the classroom.

Monday, 19th October 2015, 4:00 pm
Connor McGowan (10) from Ightenhill has been placed in isolation at school because his haircut has been classed as extreme, he is pictured with his mum Michelle McGowan

Michelle McGowan (33) became involved in a dispute with the headteacher of Lowerhouse Junior School over her son Connor’s short back and sides haircut.

Headteacher Claire Holgate told the parent that Year 6 pupil Connor’s haircut was “extreme” and should be re-styled, warning he faced being taught in isolation if this was not done. But when Michelle refused, Connor (10) was taught in isolation on Thursday.

Mum-of-two Michelle has now prepared a petition, signed by 184 people, calling for him to be reinstated to the classroom.

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Connor McGowan, ten from Ightenhill has been placed in isolation at school because his haircut has been classed as extreme

Michelle, of Lonsdale Street, Ightenhill, said: “I have now taken Connor out of Lowerhouse and will be looking for a new school for him if he is not allowed back in to lessons. This is a serious case of bullying towards my child and I will take this matter to court to prove she (the headteacher) has made a mistake. I’m losing sleep because of this and it needs sorting as soon as possible.

“It’s a shame it’s come to this but I feel Mrs Holgate is being unreasonable. To teach Connor in isolation over a haircut is outrageous.

“The head didn’t even have the courtesy to ring me and tell me. The only option to restyle Connor’s hair would be to give him a skinhead which would be extreme.

“Somebody has to make a stand and so I won’t be sending Connor back to this school until he is back in lessons.”

Lowerhouse Junior School’s policy on haircuts includes a ban on “lines” in hair which Mrs Holgate believes has been contravened.

She said in a statement: “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 noticeable 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.”

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