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UPDATE - school allows boy growing hair for cancer charity back in after sending him home to get it cut

Victoria Leedham and son Harley, 11. EMN-150925-093506001
Victoria Leedham and son Harley, 11. EMN-150925-093506001

A school which sent home a boy growing his hair for charity ordering him to get it cut or risk exclusion has allowed him back in.

The dramatic U-turn comes after The Standard broke the story this morning (Friday) of 11-year-old Harley Leetham being sent home from St George’s Academy in Sleaford because his hair was too long, there has been uproar on social media and even the national press have picked up on the dispute.

We have a uniform policy which is overwhelmingly supported by parents.
Wayne Birks - principal of St George’s Academy

Young Harley, who only started at the school in September was ordered to cut his hair on Wednesday to conform with school uniform policy or face exclusion, but his parents were adamant they would fight it claiming it is gender discrimination and sexism, especially as Harley was only growing his hair to then cut it off and donate to the Little Princess Foundation to be turned into a wig for cancer sufferers undergoing treatment.

Mum Victoria Leedham told The Standard she met with principal Wayne Birks today (Friday) to thrash out the matter and Harley has been allowed back into school.

She said: “He (Mr Birks) skirted around the issue and didn’t say a lot but has allowed him back into school, but he asked me to reconsider cutting his hair. I have already said I will not but we ran out of time and that will be addressed at a further meeting.”

Miss Leedham was unhappy about how she had been treated and felt things had been left unresolved, saying: “He talked over me a lot and kept saying we are part of a club and this club has rules.”

Principal of St George’s Academy, Wayne Birks told the Standard: “St George’s is very proud of its reputation for upholding standards of behaviour and student appearance and very recently received significant praise from Ofsted for allaspects of our work. We were judged ‘good’ in all areas including leadership and management, student behaviour, achievement and teaching and learning.

“We have a uniform policy which is overwhelmingly supported by parents and which forms the basis for excellent standards of behaviour, appearance and mutual respect between staff and students. In this particular incident, the student concerned was not excluded from school and I was very disappointed that his parents went to the local press immediately and even before I had chance to meet with them. I remain optimistic that we can resolve remaining areas of disagreement.”

○ Read our original story on this here.

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