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Norfolk academy tells student hair is too short - after telling him to get it cut

PUBLISHED: 10:13 05 February 2019 | UPDATED: 10:48 06 February 2019

Jonathan Soares, 16, has been in isolation at GY Charter Academy because of his haircut.  PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Jonathan Soares, 16, has been in isolation at GY Charter Academy because of his haircut. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

A notoriously strict Norfolk academy has angered another parent after it disciplined a student for his hair being too short - days after telling him it was too long.

Jonathan Soares was told by staff at Great Yarmouth Charter Academy last Monday that his haircut was too long and in need of a trim.

The Year 11 student duly got the chop on Monday night at a local hairdressers.

But when he returned to school on Tuesday, staff then told him his ‘meet me at McDonald’s’ haircut was now ‘unsuitable’ as it was too short on the sides compared to the top.

The 16-year-old, who lives in Great Yarmouth, was put in isolation for the misdemeanour, and now fears he may not get his place at East Norfolk Sixth Form College if he gets excluded.

Jonathan Soares, 16, has been in isolation at GY Charter Academy because of his haircut.  PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodJonathan Soares, 16, has been in isolation at GY Charter Academy because of his haircut. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

His dad, Mark Johnson, 40, said he is outraged by the school’s decision and has accused it of jeopardizing his son’s GCSE’s - which he will take at the end of this academic year.

The 40-year-old said: “I could not believe it when Jonathan came home and told me about it.

“It is absolutely ridiculous for the school to punish him for his haircut.

“I could understand if it was dyed a bright colour but it is just a normal cut.

Jonathan Soares, left, who has been in isolation at GY Charter Academy because of his haircut with his Dad, Mark Johnson, right..  PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodJonathan Soares, left, who has been in isolation at GY Charter Academy because of his haircut with his Dad, Mark Johnson, right.. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

“The school looks to find ways to punish the children.”

Jonathan has had the hairstyle - which features short sides and a floppy fringe - since September last year, but members of staff have only now raised concerns with it.

The academy sent a letter to parents last February stating the cut was unacceptable.

Inspiration Trust spokesman James Goffin said: “Great Yarmouth Charter Academy’s guidelines on uniform and appearance have been well publicised, and families and pupils are well aware of the school’s requirements around haircuts.

“These are not difficult to follow, and if pupils choose to go against them they do so knowing the sanctions they are likely to face.”

But Mr Johnson said he was concerned for his son’s education.

“Jonathan is not going to learn anything in isolation so he is better off doing his work from home,” he said.

“This year is a vital one for him and the school is bang out of order to interfere with his learning like this.”

He claims lots of pupils at the academy have similar haircuts to his son’s.

Residents in Great Yarmouth leapt to the defence of the 16-year-old on Tuesday.

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