Boy excluded from assembly over haircut when barber made a mistake

Arun Purba had a shorter crop than expected (Picture: NCJM)

A pupil aged 12 couldn’t go to a special leavers’ assembly because he accidentally had his hair cropped too short.

Arun Purba was told his crop was ‘extreme’ after he had a mix-up with a barber who didn’t speak English very well.

The Ponteland Community Middle School was left feeling victimised, his dad said.

Mr Purba said: ‘He usually gets a 1.5 on the sides, but we had to get a mobile barber in for his prom who was Turkish – he didn’t speak great English and ended up giving him a 0.5.

‘It was an accident and I tried explaining it to the school but they weren’t having it.

‘He’s an A* pupil, he’s a good lad with 100% attendance and he’s never even been late.

Arun Purba was left feeling ‘victimised’ (Picture: NCJ Media)

‘His only detention was for forgetting his homework. So I find this so petty.’

Mr Purba decided to pull his son out of school in response and said he feels like Arun has effectively been excluded from his final week in class.

He added: ‘I told the barber 1.5, but after a while I realised it looked short – I asked him what number he was giving and he said 0.5. I said it was too short but by this time the damage is done.’

But Dr Caroline Pryer said school rules prohibit ‘extreme haircuts’ which include trims that are less than a number two at the side, while styles must be neat and tidy.

With only a couple of days of term left, Mr Purba visited the school on Wednesday morning to explain what happened in the barber’s chair.

Dr Pryer said: ‘It’s not acceptable and not right for him to be in assembly as we were about to do our leavers assembly.’

He was given the haircut by mistake (Picture: NCJ Media)

However, she disputed Mr Purba’s claims that the child had been told to stay at home for his last two days at the Callerton Lane school.

She added: ‘He has not been kicked out.

‘The child is welcome to attend the prom and I’m sure he will be in class tomorrow.’

With the dance taking months of preparation and planning, she insisted it was only right pupils played their parts and followed the rules.

‘I said if a child is coming in wearing his hair in a style that’s not acceptable, that’s not giving respect to the teachers who are giving up their evening,’ said the head, whose school was rated Outstanding by Ofsted before being converted to an academy.

Mr Purba said he was shocked by the reaction to the cut and said his son felt embarrassed and felt he had been singled out.

‘It’s an absolute disgrace,’ said Jasper, who ended up taking his son to work with him at We Buy Cars for More, on Scotswood Road, as he couldn’t find last minute childcare.

‘And the stupidest thing is, he’s been getting a 1.5 for years, which is apparently shorter than what they say is acceptable, so why haven’t they said something before?’


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