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Last Updated: Friday, 5 December, 2003, 13:48 GMT
Row over 'racist' headgear ban
A school's uniform policy has been described as racist because it bans pupils from wearing headgear.

Abdul Rahim Malik, chairman of the Luton Race Advisory Forum, says the stance taken by the town's Icknield High is wrong when many schools allow Muslim headscarves and hijabs.

The row was sparked after parents of a Muslim girl who was thinking of joining the school asked if she would be allowed to wear a headscarf.

Now the school's governing body is considering the request.

Keith Ford, head teacher at Icknield High, told BBC Online: "I've had one letter from a parent who wanted to know if his daughter could wear a head scarf if she wanted to.

"I referred the letter to the governing body which is our procedure as a foundation school. We are not a community school run by the local authority.

"They have looked at the letter at two meetings and I expect a decision then. Meanwhile I am bemused by the attention the issue is receiving."

Pupils at the school are banned from wearing headgear - except turbans.

However, Mr Malik said: "I think it is an illegal and racist policy and damages race relations in Luton.

"I am surprised people in education have not learned the lessons of past history. Asian people started settling in Luton 35 years ago when skirts and blouses were the uniform.

"We have now agreed with the local authority to let Asian girls wear trousers and head scarves."




SEE ALSO:
Headscarves: contentious cloths
26 Sep 03  |  Europe


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