Enfield school reverses 'no cornrows' rule after outcry

Girl wearing cornrows Image copyright Creative Commons

A school in north London has reversed a decision to ban students from wearing cornrows after a public outcry.

St John's Senior School in Enfield told parents in a letter that girls would not be allowed to wear cornrows or "knotted braids".

The letter was posted on social media and prompted angry reactions from thousands of Twitter users.

The school admitted the restrictions "would be unduly restrictive on the styles girls may wish to adopt".

In the letter, dated 12 September, the school, based on The Ridgeway, said girls would be subject to various conditions.

These included "single plaits only, all plaits to be thin to medium only, knotless braids only, natural hair colour only, cornrows or knotted braids will not be permitted, all extensions must be tied in a ponytail at all times, hair must be worn no longer than shoulder length".

Twitter user BeeBabs shared the letter on Friday morning and received thousands of comments within hours of posting it.

By Friday afternoon, the school issued a statement saying the "approach reflected in [its] letter was to be on a trial basis", adding that "in light of concerns raised by a number of parents and pupils, we appreciate that, while we believe it is appropriate to place a restriction on hair length, our proposals would be unduly restrictive on the styles girls may wish to adopt".

It said it had made the proposals "following the increased use of hair extensions by girls at the school and in an attempt to ensure a uniform but fair approach, particularly with regard to hair length".

The school confirmed it would not be implementing the proposed restrictions, except for requiring students to wear their hair no longer than shoulder length.

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