Boy, 12, put in isolation after teachers said new haircut was too short

A grandmother was horrified when she found out that her 12-year-old grandson had been put into isolation and faced detention after teachers said his new haircut was too short and against school policy.

Jayden Barratt got his hair cut on September 2 and had his first day in Year 8 at Our Lady’s Catholic College in Lancaster on September 8.

He was looking for a classroom on September 9, when his nan, Judith Mcgonnell, claims a teacher pulled him and four other boys in his year to one side.

Judith, 58, claims that two teachers then lined them up and scrutinised their haircuts, before pronouncing his too short and sending him to the isolation room with seven older boys.

The isolation room contains cubicles where children sit at desks on their own and complete all their work, finishing at four o'clock instead of the usual school's-out time of three.

A teacher phoned Judith – with whom Jayden lives – at around 10:30am to explain what had happened where the angry gran then told them to send the young lad home.

Jayden's dad went into the school later that day to say the family were seeking a place in another educational establishment.

Judith said: "The member of staff on the phone said it was an extreme haircut. They are there to educate him not judge his hair.

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"He hates having his hair cut but agreed to have it done so he could be smarter for school.

"If it was bright pink, I could understand it but there is absolutely nothing wrong with his hair cut. I'd say eight out of 10 boys have that cut.

"He's just a young lad with a smart new haircut who looks lovely, and it's like they're punishing him for it. I can't get my head around it.

"We're in the process of an application for a diagnosis for Jayden, and the school have been supporting him as a child with Asperger’s for the last year.

"Putting a 12-year-old boy with Asperger’s in isolation for a lovely smart hair cut is absolutely shocking.

"He was probably only isolated for 20 minutes because I wouldn't stand for it.

"If they stick to this ridiculous policy, I'll have to find him a place in another school. I'm really shocked."

Our Lady's Catholic College's Headteacher, Helen Seddon, said: "At Our Lady's we do have a uniform policy that covers hair style and we do apply it.

"This policy has not changed and is on our website and in the pupils' planner.

"If a pupil's hair cut is shorter than our expectations, they spend two days in our internal exclusion unit where pupils are able to complete their schoolwork with a member of staff present to support them.

"We do make reasonable adjustments for pupils with additional educational needs and feel we have done so in this case.

"Jayden's family are choosing to keep him at home. We are not stopping him from being in school, for his education, and would encourage them to make sure he is back in school."

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