Honiton: New college principal reinforces school uniform policy
HONITON Community College is reinforcing its uniform policy – to instil in students a sense of pride in the uniform, the school and the town.
HONITON Community College is reinforcing its uniform policy - to instil in students a sense of pride in the uniform, the school and the town.
In his first two weeks at the college, new principal Glenn Smith says two students have been dealt with for having exaggerated or dyed hairstyles.
Naomi Parnell, 15, was one of them. She says she has had her hair 'block' dyed for three years, but that it only became a problem at school last Monday.
She went home after her mum, Sharon, 40, initially disagreed with a college decision to place Naomi in the school's student support unit, where she would have been taught in isolation.
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Mrs Parnell, who fears Naomi has been made an example of, said: "The school wanted me to go out and buy a home dye kit, but I'd rather the streaks were left for a few weeks to grow out.
"I'm now worried about Naomi being home from school, because she is in the last year of her GCSEs and her absence is being recorded as 'unauthorised'. I don't want to end up in court."
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Naomi, described by teacher Ian Browne in an email as "extremely well-behaved and hard-working", says she was given a fresh copy of the school's uniform policy on the day her hairstyle became an issue.
Mrs Parnell, who claims she saw a child at the college with a lip piercing, told the Herald: "We are in the 21st century and the school needs to upgrade its rules."
Mr Smith said: "The college uniform policy clearly sets out expectations.
"It is signed up to by students, staff and, most importantly, parents. We need parents' support. There is no excuse. Exaggerated hairstyles and colouring is not acceptable.
"I am reinforcing the policy and taking a firm, but fair, stand on this.
"The students and parents expect me to take a firm stance. I have had nothing but support."
Mr Smith added: "The uniform policy is supported by students as much as staff. I believe a uniform policy has a positive impact on outcomes.
"A pride in the uniform will spill over into pride in the school and community and, ultimately, will be reflected in the progress made.