A schoolgirl faces being taught in isolation after she dyed her hair AUBURN – which teachers labelled an UNNATURAL colour.
Olivia Senter, 14, used a household brand of dye to give her brown locks a subtle red tint.
But teaching staff at Poltair School in St Austell, Cornwall, took exception to her new shade and ordered her to change it back to its normal brown.
The school’s dress code bans “unnatural colours” such as purple, blue, green, pink or those which attract “undue attention”.
Olivia dyed her hair at Easter but staff didn’t complain until a week ago when she was told that if it wasn’t dyed back by Friday she would be sent home.
Her grandmother Anne Mounce has met senior staff to plead her case but the school refuses to relax its rules.
Anne said: “I have looked at the school’s policy and it says in black and white non-natural colours are not allowed and then lists blue, pink, green and purple.
“Her hair is none of these. It might be slightly redder in some lights but red is not even on the list as not acceptable.
“I am quite strict. She has had to have strong boundaries and she has worked hard for what she has achieved and they are all pleased with her.
“This is taking the rules to the extreme. Olivia usually looks forward to school but she told me the last few weeks have been terrible.”
Mrs Mounce said Olivia tried to dye her hair ‘natural brown’ over the weekend to comply with teachers’ orders – but the solution simply left it looking redder.
She is adamant the school, a former grammar school and specialist sports college for 803 students aged 11 to 16, needs to relax its “extreme” rules.
Mrs Mounce said: “It’s now more like it was in the beginning when she first dyed it and that was two and a half months ago when they didn’t say anything about it.
“We have one of three choices: she dyes it back, or she doesn’t and goes into isolation, or I move her to another school which she doesn’t want because all her friends are here and she is doing so well. It’s emotional blackmail.”
Head teacher Stephen Tong said the current policy is two years old and was written in full consultation with the Student Council.
He said: “The pupils of Poltair School set exceptionally high standards in all that they do.
This is reflected in their school uniform. It is worn with considerable pride.
“The current policy, devised two years ago, is explicit in terms of the expectations of pupils. The school upholds and enforces the policy.”