Mum baffled as school ‘bans her sons from playground for extreme haircuts’

A mum says her sons have been excluded from the playground because of their ‘extreme haircuts’.

Claire Mitchell, 28, doesn’t think her eight-year-old and nine-year-old boys’ barnets are inappropriate.

She hit out at Silver End Academy, in Witham, after they banned her sons from going outside at break-time due to her new hairstyles.

The mum-of-four, from Braintree, Essex said the school rang her to notify her about the policy.

She told Essex Live: “I got the phone call Monday at 2.30pm saying that Alfiee will be kept off the playground until his hair grows back because his hair is extreme.

"Literally when she rang me, she said it's nothing to do with his behaviour, we are going to have to take them off the playground.

"I said 'what about my other son?' and they said 'oh we hadn't noticed'. I kind of dropped him in it."

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The mum says her son battles social anxiety and says the rule has left him feeling upset and confused.

She added: "We took them for a treat and then for a haircut. Then on Monday he is pulled out of the playground.

"He has social anxiety. I do not know how long it will take – it takes roughly four or six weeks to grow back.

"If they are going to keep him in that long he's going to be scaling the walls. It's just a bit over the top…

"Alfiee stayed up until 11.30pm last night worrying because he didn't want to go to school. He sits and worries about things.

"My other son (Declan) – he is a model student – is devastated he is now being punished for a hair cut."

Claire said her boys have had the hair style at previous schools and never had a problem.

She said the boys' told her the teachers even commented on their hair saying it was nice.

The mum remarked: "I have had parents say their kids have the same hair style, my barber shaved a parting into it so it didn't go in their faces.

"The policy doesn't specify what an extreme haircut is, it says no decorative designs.

"They asked for designs but I said no – I don't see the problem with a parting.

"I do not want to send them to school looking scruffy, I want them to represent the school and look smart.

"If it was going to distract other children then they are happy with them in the classroom, so they have to stay off the playground?"

Since the playground ban was implemented, Claire has been travelling to the school each lunchtime and break time to pick her kids up.

She said: "I said I will bring you home and you can have your lunch and have a charge around the garden. I can't do it every day though, I have a baby.

"My little girl is autistic and now she wants to come home because her brothers are."

The mum has tried to speak to the headteacher about allowing her sons back into the play ground.

She has suggested putting the boys in hats, but this idea has been rejected.

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The headteacher of Silver End Academy, Simon Webb, said: "Whenever we have new parents come into any one of our academies we take the parents through the home school agreement.

"It's a set of statements which we believe are agreed between the home and school in terms of uniform, behaviour and general support the school can offer parents and advise parents. We are open to anyone coming in with any concerns and any worries.

"That school agreement is signed by parents before children arrive and 99 to 100% of the time we never have to refer to that. I think in this case the parents have chosen to take their boys and have their hairs cut in a way which is not appropriate to the academy and makes the boys stand out more than any normal haircut.

"This isn't the first time this has happened. Rather than ask the children to stay off school like most secondary schools would, we take the children off the play ground and sit in the library or a classroom with an adult who can supervise them. In this way they are safe and not punished."

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