Jacob Lee-Stokes, 15, had been on home learning for months during lockdown with no opportunity to get a trim. Grimsby Live reports staff at Humberston Academy in the Lincolnshire town decided to put the teen on isolation away from mates all day on his return to school this week.
It has left his mum Gemma Leaning furious and she alleges the school suggested she “shave off” her son’s hair.
“After all the weeks of home learning and he goes off to school for 8.20am and then I get a call at 9.15am on the first day to say he is in isolation for the whole day, is outrageous.
“I understand the school policy and would normally have taken him to the hairdressers but no one has that option during lockdown,” Gemma said today.
However, during lockdown, Jacob had dyed his hair blue and pink experimenting, before washing it out and dying his naturally ginger hair, blonde.
Gemma was unable to get the colour fixed by a professional before the start of school.
The mum, of Grimsby, added: “Jacob is naturally ginger and it won’t take to try to dye it one colour. There are loads of students with dyed hair.
“There are some whose hair colour has come back through the roots and looks two-tone. But for some it is acceptable but not for Jacob.
“I don’t know what they expect parents to do. They would not say ‘shave your hair’ to a girl. Who is to decide what looks nice and what doesn’t?
“It is not as if he is a naughty pupil. He is part of the school’s Shine Project and is looking at which university he wants to study at. He did all his work in lockdown, set up a mini-enterprise, and is predicted to have good grades.”
According to the mum, other students also spent their first day back in isolation for wearing the wrong shoes.
Many parents have struggled to get new uniform with clothes and shoe shops remaining closed during lockdown while their children have had growth spurts at home.
Gemma said: “I think there needs to be a bit more common sense and less of a petty approach by schools.
“It has been a struggle for most families with home schooling and trying to get the right clothes for school in time but to be sent into isolation for the whole day on the first day is petty.”
Jacob said his registration on the first morning was approved but he was stopped outside class.
He said: “I would like to see schools focus more on how well kids are doing in themselves rather than how they look and how the school looks.
“All schools need to focus on kids’ mental health and not just say they are looking after students’ mental health. I just want to get back in to lessons.”
Jacob found being put into isolation so stressful, he missed his second day at school because of anxiety.
Humberston Academy, rated as Outstanding by Ofsted, said it was “empathetic” towards parents.
A spokesperson for David Ross Education Trust which runs the school said: “Whilst we have high expectations when it comes to uniform, we are also empathetic – so for instance, if a student comes into school without the right uniform, we are able to provide spare items for them to wear.
“We also have clear expectations of appropriate hair styles, including hair dye. Whilst it wouldn’t be appropriate for us to provide details on individual cases, parents and students have known for some time now that the first day back at school would be March 8, and we expect families to take appropriate steps meeting our existing policies for a smooth return back to school.”