Students at Doncaster school considering 'walk-out' over new discipline policy

Angry parents with children at a Doncaster school are considering organising a 'student strike' over new uniform rules, which some claim have led to girls with 'too many curls in their hair' being disciplined.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 6th July 2016, 5:21 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 8:14 pm
De Warenne Academy in Conisbrough
De Warenne Academy in Conisbrough

The new rules were introduced at De Warenne Academy in Conisbrough on Monday, July 4 and state that female students are now prohibited from wearing earrings or visible make-up, from wearing nail varnish, from wearing hair extensions or dying their hair any colour other than brown or black.

Male students are no longer allowed to have their hair shaved at a number 0 or 1 standard, or with defined patterns cut into a longer style. The new uniform code can be viewed here.

Some parents have also claimed that pupils at the school have been told that girls are only allowed to have 25 or less curls in their hair because they are 'too distracting' to other pupils.

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A parent, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: "Girls are being told that if they have too many curls in their hair they will be disciplined, because they're too distracting to the other pupils. I think that's really unfair because what if you have naturally curly hair."

Parents say pupils are also being made to go through an 'inspection line' at the entrance of the school, where they say children are made to give their bags to teachers to be searched.

Following the introduction of the policy, parents are now set to meet tomorrow night to discuss the new rules and the possibility of a 'student strike'.

However, the school has denied the implementation of an 'inspection line' and has declined to comment on the threat of a student strike or claims that students have been disciplined for having 'too many curls' in their hair.

Executive Principal at De Warenne Academy Gareth Mason said: "I’d like to thank parents and carers for the support many have given to the change in the behaviour policy and the feedback given at a parents’ consultation evening.

"We want to create a culture and a friendly atmosphere in the academy where teachers are focused on talking to students about their learning, their progress and the subject being taught.

"The new behaviour policy is available on the school website. For the avoidance of any doubt, under the new behaviour policy, we simply ask the following:

- Mobile phones are to be turned off at the marked entrance to the academy and turned back on there at the end of the school day.

- Students do not wear jewellery in the academy. Where students have difficulty with certain types of piercing, they may need to cover these until they can be removed over the summer

- No make-up is worn other than discrete foundation.

- Students adhere to our existing uniform policy with regards hair length, colour and style.

He added: "Students are not being searched at the gate or anywhere else. We do welcome them to say good morning and greet them so they feel safe and secure in their learning environment."