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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

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Millom girls 'red hair' row

A TEENAGER with bright red hair has been told she can no longer attend school until she goes back to brunette.

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Emilie Jane Slater

Emilie Jane Slater, 18, a sixth form student at Millom School, said she has had her hair the same vibrant colour since October last year.

Now, during her A-Levels, Miss Slater has been told she is banned from all lessons until she changes her appearance.

Miss Slater was informed of the action being taken last Friday during a break in her full day art exam.

She said: “I’ve had my hair like this since last year and now I’ve suddenly been told I won’t be allowed on school grounds until I get it changed.

“You would have thought it would have been more important to have us learning.

“This last year I have improved so much with attendance and grades. I’ve even got an offer from the University of Central Lancashire. It feels like all that work has been thrown back in my face.”

Miss Slater’s mother, Helen Slater, has been in contact with head of school Simon Laheney to discuss the matter.

She said: “When she came home on Friday she was in floods of tears. She really doesn’t need this now at a time she should be worrying about exams.

Mr Laheney, however, feels that he is merely doing his job of enforcing the school rules.

He said: “It is the duty of the governing body to set out expectations on acceptable standards for uniform, dress and appearance in accordance with the tone and ethos for the school. Part of my role as head is to ensure that these standards and expectations are met.

“One of the standards students agree to is to uphold the dress code and they are therefore expected to present themselves in school smartly and modestly.”

Mr Laheney said he did not initially take action because he was under the impression action had been taken and Miss Slater was growing her hair out.

He continued: “The timing is clearly not ideal, but, after she dyed her hair again at the end of March, it could not go unchallenged.”

Miss Slater is allowed to enter school grounds for exams but not lessons. Her absence is regarded as unauthorised.

Have your say

Having studied the literature supplied by Millom School regarding Sixth Form student codes, I can see nothing which suggests that this (really quite common and popular) hair colour cannot be worn

Quote: "There is no uniform for students
staying on into the Sixth Form. However you should always dress modestly and appropriately for the working environment i.e. ‘smart dress code’. This means th at no hats should be worn in school and that excessively short clothing, low necklines,bare midriffs, beach clothing and inappropriate slogans on shirts are not acceptable"

"We would like you to know how different Sixth Form life is from previous experience of school up to year 11. As a Sixth former, you are an independent voluntary student, and you have chosen to be here because you value the opportunities we have to offer. Your relationships with staff are more relaxed and informal. you have new freedoms, privileges, and responsibilities"

The guidelines do warn: "Very serious offences or failure to comply with the
conditions of a warning will result in suspension by the Headteacheror in the student being asked to leave the school"

So... having red hair is deemed to be an offence serious enough to warrant suspension... really? Hardly the relaxed and informal atmosphere they are seeking to portray where uniform is no longer compulsory and students can dress as they like within the boundaries of common decency!

Posted by MW on 11 April 2014 at 17:34

Having studied the literature supplied by Millom School regarding Sixth Form student codes, I can see nothing which suggests that this (really quite common and popular) hair colour cannot be worn

Quote: "There is no uniform for students
staying on into the Sixth Form. However you should always dress modestly and appropriately for the working environment i.e. ‘smart dress code’. This means th at no hats should be worn in school and that excessively short clothing, low necklines,bare midriffs, beach clothing and inappropriate slogans on shirts are not acceptable"

"We would like you to know how different Sixth Form life is from previous experience of school up to year 11. As a Sixth former, you are an independent voluntary student, and you have chosen to be here because you value the opportunities we have to offer. Your relationships with staff are more relaxed and informal. you have new freedoms, privileges, and responsibilities"

The guidelines do warn: "Very serious offences or failure to comply with the
conditions of a warning will result in suspension by the Headteacheror in the student being asked to leave the school"

So... having red hair is deemed to be an offence serious enough to warrant suspension... really? Hardly the relaxed and informal atmosphere they are seeking to portray where uniform is no longer compulsory and students can dress as they like within the boundaries of common decency!

Posted by MW on 10 April 2014 at 20:16

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