11-year-old boy put into school ‘isolation’ for haircut

Daniel Tillotson was furious to find out his son was “punished” for a haircut he had chosen.

Harry Tillotson joined St Edward’s School Poole in September and has had the same hairstyle cut every eight weeks according to his father.

However, when Harry walked into school on the morning of Monday, March 18, he was immediately put into ‘isolation’ for breaching the uniform policy.

Bournemouth Echo: Harry Tillotson

“He lives with his mum, but he rang me up after school and it took him a good three or four minutes to actually come out with it because he was terrified that I was going to tell him off,” said Daniel.

After complaining to the school, Daniel was told the policy states nowhere on a student’s head can be shorter than a grade two.

“I find it baffling considering we’re all about acceptance and everyone being allowed to be who they are,” said Daniel.

He added: “But my biggest point was that my son didn’t get his haircut, I got it cut.

“I took him to the hairdressers, I paid for it, I picked his haircut, and yet he was punished.

“He was ostracised, made to feel like he had done something wrong when he really hadn’t.”

Daniel said his son was nervous to return to school after the incident and was forced to stay in ‘isolation’ for four days.

“So, he was actually in isolation Monday to Thursday, at which point the teacher said his hair’s grown significantly, so he won’t be in isolation anymore.

“But that’s four days, it hasn’t grown from a grade zero to a grade two in four days.”

Daniel said he thinks the policy is “ludicrous” and adults in the workplace are not reprimanded for being bald like himself.

A spokesperson for St Edward’s School said: “First and foremost, we wish to be clear that no pupil is ever placed in isolation at our school. At St Edward’s School we strive to create a positive, inclusive environment, where all our children and young people can thrive.

“As in most schools, we have clear and long-standing school rules in place regarding uniform and smart appearance, including standards for appropriate hairstyles. These are communicated to all pupils and parents.

“On the rare occasion when a pupil infringes these rules, we feel it is important that it is addressed.

“Rather than send them home, we ask pupils to come to inclusion sessions at breaktime and lunchtime – these are not held in isolation and pupils can often be accompanied by a friend.

“These inclusion sessions ensure that pupils in breach of uniform and haircut rules are not moving around the school, so maintaining consistency with our policy.”

The school said a letter is sent to parents to notify them of a breach of rules however Daniel said in this instance he did not receive one.

The spokesperson added: “We would urge any family feeling unhappy with any decision taken by the school to get in touch so that we can address their concerns directly and offer any appropriate support.”

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