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Wednesday, June 16, 1999 Published at 12:06 GMT 13:06 UK


Exam girl's Beatles cover

The Beatles mop top is fine: Bright red hair is not

Student Sabrina Cohen is sitting her exams in a Beatles-style wig after she was warned that her bright red, dyed hair broke school rules.

Sabrina, 16, was told she would not be allowed to sit her 11 GCSEs after colouring her hair crimson and piercing her lip.

Dr Ian Garrero: "Unreasonable environment for other students"
Headteacher Dr Ian Garrero said the lip-ring and hair were "part of a package" that broke school rules.

He said other pupils could be distracted from their exams by Sabrina's eye-catching hair.

But the teenager has agreed a compromise that will allow her into the exam hall - a plaster to cover her lip-ring and an £8.99 black Beatles wig.

Sabrina said: "It's ridiculous. They let me sit my exams wearing a Beatles wig but not my own hair.

"I can't see why red hair makes any difference to my ability to sit and pass exams."

School restrictions

The teenager dyed her hair after her first exam at Bassaleg comprehensive school in Newport, South Wales.

Sabrina is tipped to get 11 A-star GCSE grades and hopes to study physics at university.

Dr Garrero said school rules banned "bizarre" hairstyles and that the only piercings allowed were on earlobes.

He said: "She arrived with a dog, without a uniform, with a pierced lip and her dyed hair. This would have created an unreasonable environment for other students to do their best."

Dr Garrero said senior students were also expected to set an example to younger pupils.

It is not known yet whether Sabrina will be allowed into the school's sixth form next term.

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