The mother of a teenage schoolgirl put in isolation after shaving her head for charity yesterday (sun) condemned the school.
Brave Niamh Baldwin, 14, shaved her long blonde locks to raise funds for the Little Princess Trust – which makes wigs for cancer sufferers.
But rather than praise Naimh for her selfless actions, teachers put her in isolation, as the ‘Grade One’ cut did not meet the school uniform policy.
Mum Anneka Baldwin, 32, said: “She has been unfairly punished. She has always been a thoughtful and caring child.
“But I was amazed when she told me that she wanted to do this over Christmas.
“I think this is the most courageous and amazing thing to do and it makes me so proud.
“Especially at 14 – at that age a lot of girls are very into their looks and style, so to do something like this, we were all very proud.”
The family say Niamh was immediately put into isolation after arriving at Mounts Bay Academy, Penzance, Cornwall.
Anneka said: “I am so upset that the school has made her feel so low and put her into isolation because her hair needs to be one centimetre longer.
“That’s to be able to join in with classes and be allowed to see her peers in the playground.
“Niamh has always had outstanding reports and feedback from all of her teachers and everyone I know and she meets always says she is an amazingly polite and lovely girl.
“This doesn’t change because of a hair style and to me it is discrimination. I’m actually fuming.”
However, the school insists that the rules, which state that boys are allowed nothing shorter than a ‘Grade Two’ clipper cut, were “very clear”.
Head teacher Sara Davey said the family “had every opportunity to contact the school about their actions” to find a way for it to support her fundraising without breaking the rules.
She said: “The policy on extreme haircuts in school is very clear and has been published in our behaviour policy for many years.
“Extreme haircuts including head shaving have never been allowed and this is common for schools across the UK.
“All students know that this is the school policy and they also know that the consequence is to complete school work in the inclusion room until the hair grows so that is it no longer extreme.
“If Niamh had asked the school about shaving her hair for charity then this would have been pointed out and an alternative fundraising idea would have been suggested.
“I am surprised that the family did not speak to the school about the head shaving before it took place as we could have avoided this situation completely.
“Since returning to school Niamh has had access to her lessons in the inclusion room as we have extensive materials available to students.
“This includes lesson activities and resources via digital technology.
“The family had every opportunity to contact the school about their actions before Niamh shaved her hair for charity but they for some reason did not do this.
“Going forward, I will speak to Niamh’s mother on Monday to try to resolve the situation to everyone’s satisfaction so that Niamh can return to lessons as soon as possible.
“It would be reasonable in the circumstances to suggest that Niamh wears a head scarf until her hair grows sufficiently, for example.”