Pupil regularly sent home from school due to her afro hair wins £8,500 compensation

11 February 2020, 08:18

Ruby appearing on BBC Breakfast
Ruby appearing on BBC Breakfast. Picture: BBC

A schoolgirl who was repeatedly sent home from school over her afro hair has been awarded a discrimination payout of £8,500.

Ruby described how The Urswick School, a Church of England secondary school in Hackney, east London, claimed her hair was distracting pupils and blocking their views of the whiteboard.

She had been told that her hair breached the school’s uniform policy, which stated that "afro style hair must be of reasonable size and length". That policy has now been removed from its website.

Her parents, Kate and Lenny Williams, said that their three-year legal battle, backed by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, “destroyed” their daughter’s confidence.

Speaking to the BBC, Ruby said teachers even attempted to put bands in her hair, saying: "I ended up getting frustrated because my hair would keep bouncing out of the bun.

"In the end I just said 'If it's too big can you just please send me home? Because this is not OK'.

"Why should I have to cut or change my hair and people can have their hair all the way down to their hips, as long as they want? But because my hair grows out I need to cut it?"

Nick Ferrari is asking if you think the school was right? Or should a pupil be allowed to wear their hair however they like?

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