Mum pulls daughter, 11, from school after row with head teacher over eye make-up

A MUM has taken her daughter out of school in a row over her wearing make-up.

Thursday, 14th July 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 7:45 pm
Karen Knight from Fareham, is refusing to send her daughter Hannah to school after Hannah was told to remove her eyebrow make-up

Karen Knight was furious when her 11-year-old daughter was ordered to remove eye make-up by the headteacher at Wallisdean Junior School in Fareham.

She rang the school to talk to Natasha Farrell about whether the school has a make-up policy.

Karen, 47, rang Hampshire County Council before the call and was told that if the school did not have a policy against the make-up, then Ms Farrell should not have asked Hannah to take it off.

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Since the incident in early June, Karen has kept her daughter off school meaning she has been hit with a £60 non-attendance fine.

She said: ‘Hannah has dark skin and her eyebrows are quite fair and the fact that she’s a dancer means she’s quite self-conscious about it.

‘She used the eyebrow pencil to darken them in order to make herself feel better.

‘She came home all upset about it and I rang the headmistress to talk to her.’

Karen, who works as a carer, said that following the phone call, she sent a letter to the school governors that same day. But after being told the letter had been received by June 15, she did not receive a response until she rang the school up on July 1.

According to Karen, the response from the governors was ‘sympathetic’ to her situation.

Hannah has been off school since the incident.

Karen, from Fairfield Avenue, Fareham, added: ‘Hannah should be in school, but she’s very worried that the headmistress will treat her differently because of all of this. It just makes me so angry that she was asked to remove it.

‘A girl of that age is always going to want to feel more confident about herself, so why should she not be able to do that?’

Karen is now waiting to hear from the school’s chair of governors about when she will be able to appeal the non-attendance fine, which could potentially rise to £120.

A decision is not likely to be made in the coming days, which would mean that Hannah may not return to the school before the start of the school holidays, which begin on Thursday, July 21.

This would mean that Hannah has been off school for six weeks.

Karen said: ‘I’m pushing to get a decision soon, but I just don’t know when they will get back to me.’

The News contacted the school, but the headteacher did not wish to comment.