Parents have reacted with fury after a Leeds school sent letters home threatening to put pupils in isolation over their ‘extreme youth culture’ hairstyles.
Mum Vikki Fitzgerald said she was ‘absolutely shocked’ when she received the letter from Boston Spa school - despite the fact that her son Callum McNamara, 14, only has a ‘smart short back and sides’.
The letter, which was sent home to parents of several pupils, states: “It has been identified that Joshua’s hairstyle will not be acceptable in September. Hairstyles should not reflect the extremes of ‘youth culture’, for example being longer on the top than on the sides of the head.”
It continued: “Hair should be no shorter than a number two grade anywhere on the head and must not have patterns cut into the hair such as tram lines.
“In line with the positive discipline policy if any student arrives at school with a hairstyle that is unacceptable, they will be placed in isolation until it is rectified.”
Vikki, of Litten Way, Whinmoor, said: “Callum’s hair was quite long and getting very scruffy, so he had it cut short and I thought it looked very smart.
“Then we got the letter saying it was not acceptable - but it’s just a short back and sides. It’s nothing ‘extreme’.
“I was gobsmacked.”
She added that the school is implementing ‘all sorts of rules’ as it prepares to become an Academy in September.
Another pupil on the receiving end of the same letter was Joshua Esmera, also 14.
His mum Hazel, of Kentmere Avenue, Seacroft, said: “We won’t be on our own at speaking out about this. There are a few mums who are absolutely livid.
“Everyone is in uproar.
“When they go back in September they will be in Year 10 and starting their GCSEs. They don’t need the added stress.”
Christopher Walsh, Headteacher at Boston Spa School said:
“We have recently informed pupils and parents that as part of our partnership with the Gorse Academies Trust from September, we will be adopting the same hairstyle policy which is already, successfully, in place in nine other schools in the trust.
“This is one of several policies we are adopting to bring our school in line with all others in the partnership.”