education

School backs down after refusing to let girl with hair loss wear cap to class


Ella Goodwin will now be able to wear a cap to lessons (Picture: SWNS)

A teenager dealing with hair loss will now be able to wear a cap to school after pupils and parents protested in support.

Ella Goodwin, 13, has lost patches of her hair and is uncomfortable wearing a wig to classes.

She was told she was not allowed to wear a cap and hoodie to cover her head, but Heritage High in Derbyshire has now reversed its stance.

Children gathered around the gates of the school in Clowne on Monday morning all wearing hats in support for their fellow pupil.

A message sent by the school’s Year 9 manager previously said: ‘I have spoken to Senior staff with regards Ella wearing a hoodie and baseball cap and unfortunately because of school policy around uniform we are unable to authorise her wearing them.

‘We do however have a couple of students in school currently who are wearing wigs. I wondered if Ella would like to meet with her and talk about her experience. If this would make Ella feel better about wearing her wig in school.

Ella Goodwin before her hair loss (Picture: SWNS)
Doctors are unsure why she has been losing her hair (Picture: Shaun Goodwin/SWNS)

‘Let me know if she would like to talk to another student and I will arrange it.’

Ella has been battling chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis for over two years, which has left her with a lowered immune system, making school challenging.

Her father Shaun Goodwin says that his daughter’s hair loss, which is still a mystery to her doctors, has left her very self-conscious.

He said: ‘She’s a young girl – they want to be curling or straightening
her hair at that age – making themselves look good.’

The family say the support they have received from parents and pupils
at the school has been extremely heartening.

Mr Goodwin said: ‘Seeing all those people out in support of Ella was out of this world, we can’t thank them enough.

‘I don’t think she realised how many friends she had in the community. She was really overwhelmed.’

A school spokesperson said: ‘We are continuing to do everything we can to ensure the student and her family are appropriately supported through this challenging period.’

In a letter to parents yesterday, headteacher Richard Marlow said: ‘I am pleased to tell you that we were able to speak to the family earlier today and let them know that we had made the decision to agree that Ella can wear a cap and hoodie to ensure she feels as comfortable and supported as possible when at school. We will continue discussions with the family tomorrow.’

Regarding the protest, they said: ‘I am aware of postings on social media stating that children have been locked in rooms today. I can assure you that this was not the case. Staff at the school managed the situation calmly and no lockdown procedures were activated.’

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