Parents’ anger as children are put in isolation over hair and uniforms

Vanessa Williams and her daughter Abigail
Vanessa Williams and her daughter Abigail

Tanbridge House School has been criticised by some parents after children were placed in isolation because staff found problems with their hair or uniform.

At the start of term, several youngsters at the Horsham school were kept apart from their classmates for issues such as the colour of their trousers or shoes and the length or colour of their hair.

Sharon Ede spent £30 on new black trousers for her son, Dean, only to receive a message from the teenager on the first day saying he had been given detention because they were not the required grey.

Sharon said: “He’s been wearing black trousers since Year 7 and is now in Year 10.

“I’m really furious. I spent £30 on trousers only to be told he couldn’t wear them. I haven’t got £30 to waste.

“Why should my son be put in isolation because he’s been wearing the uniform he has since starting the school?

“Do you think that because my son is in a pair of grey trousers he will be a genius?”

Vanessa Williams had a similar experience because her daughter Abigail’s black Doc Marten boots had yellow stitching.

In addition, Abigail was pulled up because her Next schoolwear range trousers were too ‘skinny’ and her hair was not a ‘natural’ colour.

Vanessa was one of several parents who said the cost of school uniform was too high.

She also questioned how keeping children out of lessons was helping their education.

She said: “It should be about education. To me, it’s like education is being lost in this. She’s been given bits of work but she’s not doing lessons. It’s like it’s gone a bit mad.

“She looked so smart and I was so proud when I sent her off.”

When asked about the uniform policy and the decision to place students in isolation or detention, headteacher Jules White said: “If a parent wishes to raise a concern about their child’s education at Tanbridge House they are very welcome to contact their child’s form tutor, subject teacher or leader of year.

“If they remain concerned then our complaints policy should be used.

“As ever, we always apply our exceptionally high standards – academic or otherwise – with rigour, fairness and professionalism.”

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