Pupil singled out for ‘extreme’ hairstyle

Oakley Smith and his mum Gemma. Oakley is a St Giles CE pupil who has been told he can't go out at playtime or go to assembly because his hair is too 'extreme'. (P552B340)
Oakley Smith and his mum Gemma. Oakley is a St Giles CE pupil who has been told he can't go out at playtime or go to assembly because his hair is too 'extreme'. (P552B340)

Angry mum Gemma Smith claims her young son was not allowed outside during school play time because of his “extreme” hairstyle.

Mrs Smith says six-year-old Oakley, a pupil at Pontefract’s St Giles’ CE Primary School, was banned from leaving the classroom at break and lunchtime and refused entry to school assemblies last week after the headteacher branded his haircut “outlandish.”

Mrs Smith, of Kipling Grove, Pontefract, said: “They have singled Oakley out and made an example of him. To do that to a six-year-old child is wrong.

“I don’t think there was anything wrong with Oakley’s hair cut, but the head teacher said it was too short at the sides.

“I think it’s ridiculous. To not let a child outside all day is bound to have an effect on his education.”

Mrs Smith decided to have Oakley’s hair cut at the weekend.

She said: “I just wanted an end to it all. I didn’t want to get it cut and I don’t like the new style, but my priority is Oakley and his education. He goes to school to learn and he can’t do that if he feels uncomfortable.”

Mary Gibbons, headteacher, said: “The leadership of St Giles’ School insists on high standards of behaviour and our policy is that we do not allow extreme hairstyles.

“Parents sign an agreement and are aware of sanctions that are in place should these not be followed. We always strive to have very high standards but unfortunately, even with our support, some parents find it difficult to meet those standards.”