Andrea Potter says that when her daughter, Danielle, told her she wanted to dye her dark blonde hair red, they were careful to choose a colour that would adhere to Outwood Academy Portland’s “strict” regulations.
But when Danielle returned to school after the Christmas holidays, teachers argued the 16-year-old’s hair was “too bright”- and she was taken out of lessons and put into “isolation”.
Danielle was later told she would not be permitted on a school trip to see Blood Brothers at the Lyceum Theatre in Sheffield and was excluded for half a day this week, despite agreeing to dye her hair back to its original colour.
Andrea said: “This has had a negative effect on my daughter’s education and self-esteem.
“She was originally quite a shy person, but had started to come out of her shell and grow in confidence, especially since dying her hair- it is part of her development and expression.
“I know that children are not perfect, but Danielle is a well-behaved student with certificates for her attendance record.
“But now she feels like she is being bullied and personally targeted.
“I understand that the school is high-performing and this is partly down to regulations in place.
“But I feel they really need to re-think these regulations along with their ridiculous punishments. I’m fuming about what happened.”
A spokesman for Outwood Academy Portland said the school would not comment on specific students, but added: “The academy clearly states in its student planner that hairstyles should be sensible and hair colours should be natural.
“No student will be allowed into lessons with unnatural hair colour.
“No student is excluded for having unnatural hair colour, they will only ever be excluded for failing to follow a reasonable request.
“Any students attending the academy with an unnatural hair colour are given a reasonable time, for example over a weekend, in which to re-dye permanent, or remove temporary, hair colour.
“Please check with your child’s learning manager before considering any dramatic changes to style or colour”.