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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 January, 2004, 15:29 GMT
School to review uniform rule
Governors at a Bedfordshire school could overturn a policy which bans Muslim pupils from wearing headscarves.

Icknield High School in Luton has a school uniform rule which bans all headgear in the classroom, with the exception of turbans.

The policy has caused concern with the local council and prompted members of a radical Islamic group to hand out leaflets outside the school as it bans Muslim girls from wearing hijabs.

The school governors have now announced they are to discuss the uniform rules at a meeting on Tuesday.

The school said a decision on the future of headscarves would be announced on Wednesday.

Race relations

Luton Borough Council said it has been advising the school, in Riddy Lane, on the legal implications of the ban.

A council spokeswoman said: "Icknield is a foundation school, so it really is up to them, but basically we have pointed out that it could be against the spirit of the Race Relations (Amendment) Act.

"They have been told chapter and verse which parts of the act apply to the ban if they decided to keep to it."

Icknield's school uniform policy was forced into the spotlight after a parent of a prospective pupil reported the matter to the council.

Understanding

Members of the radical Islamic group Al Muhajiroun have demanded the rule is overturned and the local Muslim community was planning to hand in a petition to the school in protest at the headgear ban.

Akbar Dad Khan, of the Muslim community group Building Bridges, said: "Icknield needs to look again at this policy in the light of what is happening.

"The hijab isn't associated with terrorism, which is the way some people like to portray it.

"People in Luton are very understanding and on the whole don't have concerns about headscarves and hijabs".


SEE ALSO:
Row over 'racist' headgear ban
05 Dec 03  |  Beds/Bucks/Herts
Headscarves: contentious cloths
26 Sep 03  |  Europe


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