Blaise High School: Unhappy parents to stage protest outside ‘strictest school’ in Bristol

Parents claim a mobile salon has even been introduced to remove make-up and hair dye

<p>Parents from Blaise High School are preparing to protest against the school’s suspension rate.</p>

Parents from Blaise High School are preparing to protest against the school’s suspension rate.

Dozens of furious parents are to stage a protest at Bristol's ‘strictest school’ over complaints on discipline.

Blaise High School suspended 600 students during the 2020/21 academic year, which was plagued by Covid. The figure was more than double the number of any other school in the city.

More than 40 parents have complained of more suspensions since Monday (September 5), when students returned to school, for reasons, they claim, such as pupils not sitting up straight at their desks.

The group met Bristol World ahead of the protest outside the school gates in two days time.

They claim students receive punishments for not abiding to the school’s strict policy on uniform as well as failing to smile after answering register or finishing food as they walk out of the canteen.

One parent, with a child in Year 10, said: “My daughter’s friend was yelled at by teachers for wearing make-up and others are sent to SL (Supervised Learning) for the day because of their nails - we are missing out on an education.”

Another parent with a child in Year 9 claimed the school had paid for a mobile salon to come into the school and remove hair dye from students' hair.

She said: “The rules are becoming militant and it is stripping the kids from any shred of confidence they have left.

“My daughter was made to have her hair dye removed and now has clumps of hair falling out.

“We understand that rules should be in place but there is no fairness or dialogue between us and the school.

“How can they stick a child in isolation or suspend them for things such as not smiling after saying ‘here, Sir/Miss’ at the register, which they are made to do, but if we keep a child at home for concerns of bullying we get a fine and threatened with police action?”

Blaise High School is a part of the Greenshaw Learning Trust.

Under its uniform and equipment policy, implemented in June this year, it says no make-up is allowed for Year 7 or 8 students, then from Year 9 students are allowed a ‘conservative’ amount of make-up which must not be visible.

It also states no extreme hairstyle or unnatural colour hair are allowed.

When asked to comment on the allegations, including the introduction of a mobile salon, the Trust’s chief executive officer refused to comment on them but insisted student safety is a “top priority” at Blaise High School.

Chief executive Will Smith said: "Our expectation is that all students present themselves in line with school policies and Blaise High School offers support to all parents to ensure all students wear the correct uniform.

Students' safety and well-being are the school's top priority and if any students or parents have any concerns they should contact the school directly."

The school is yet to be given a report by Ofsted though its predecessor, Henbury School was rated‘inadequate’ in 2018.

Parents have arranged to meet outside the school gates on Monday (September 12) , at 2.45pm to protest against the school’s suspension rate with hopes of arranging a group meeting with staff.