Wirral student banned from lessons and A-level revision classes because his hair is 'too short'

Patrick Beesley and his haircut deemed

Patrick Beesley and his haircut deemed "too extreme" by staff at St John Plessington Catholic College.

First published in News
Last updated
Wirral Globe: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

A WIRRAL student has been banned from attending lessons with his fellow classmates after his school deemed his haircut “too extreme”.

Eighteen-year-old Patrick Beesley decided to get his hair cut on Tuesday in preparation of having his school year book photograph taken the following day.

The Bromborough student, who is due to sit his A-levels later this year, asked for usual style but when he arrived for school at St John Plessington Catholic College on Wednesday, he was told it was too short.

As well as banning him from entering the main school building – meaning he is unable to attend his lessons – Patrick has also been told he cannot eat his lunch in the canteen and was prevented from taking part in the year book photograph.

Mum Gabrielle Fisher told the Globe she was furious at the school’s decision, describing it as “ludicrous”.

She said it was “unacceptable” to prevent Patrick from attending lessons and afterschool A-level revision classes, at such a crucial time of his education.

“Patrick’s hair is cut in a popular style of the moment, very short at the sides and back and slightly longer on top, not what you would call extreme at all,” explained Mrs Fisher.

Sixth Form rules state that hair should be no shorter than a number two.

“When Patrick was challenged about his hair he was totally honest and said he had asked for a number two but when it was cut he didn’t think it was as short as it is normally was so he asked them to cut it a bit shorter,” said Mrs Fisher, who told the Globe Patrick was a good student and had never had any bad reports or parents evenings.

“The school’s response to all this is that by his own admission he broke the rules so he only has his self to blame for the repercussions.

“I just find it absolutely ridiculous that because his hair is probably less than a millimetre shorter than it should be he is banned from the main school building because he will set a bad example to the younger students, therefore banning him from his teachers, lessons and canteen to be able to eat his lunch.”

Patrick, who is studying English, music and ICT, has been told the restrictions will stay in place until the length of his hair is deemed to be acceptable, at which point he will be allowed to have year book photograph taken.

Mrs Fisher said: “It is absolutely ludicrous – it is affecting my son’s education.

“This just seems totally unacceptable to treat an 18-year-old adult in this way, to prevent his access to lessons and teachers at such a crucial time in his education just months before completion of courses and exams.”

Patrick’s parents are now issuing a formal complaint with the school, which Mrs Fisher said has been the firm choice for her family for years.

A spokesman for St John Plessington Catholic College said: “At SJP, our Sixth Formers, from the outset, are given very clear directions about the standards of uniform and appearance that expected.

“We are very proud of the high standards all our pupils set, including our Sixth Form who are great ambassadors for the college.”

Comments (30)

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11:57am Fri 14 Mar 14

Joeblogg85 says...

Wow, the World has gone mad! Let the lad get on with his education for pity's sake. Just nonsense!
Wow, the World has gone mad! Let the lad get on with his education for pity's sake. Just nonsense! Joeblogg85
  • Score: 38

12:09pm Fri 14 Mar 14

davr0s says...

I wonder what the school would do if all his friends in the sixth form were to arrive on Monday with shaved heads...
I wonder what the school would do if all his friends in the sixth form were to arrive on Monday with shaved heads... davr0s
  • Score: 25

12:45pm Fri 14 Mar 14

Heswallian says...

This shows that the school values conformity to subjective values above the education of its pupils. They may huff & puff about standards but it means nothing if they are prepared to jeopardise this young man's future.
This shows that the school values conformity to subjective values above the education of its pupils. They may huff & puff about standards but it means nothing if they are prepared to jeopardise this young man's future. Heswallian
  • Score: 31

12:59pm Fri 14 Mar 14

JohnON says...

Typical!

The school, I'm sure, tries to engender individuality and confidence in its students during earlier years but, as soon as a sixth former dares to express that individuality (in a very reasonable manner, in my opinion), they come down on him like a ton of bricks!

Sadly, I think this will have tainted the remaining time Patrick has at the school, which is a shame.
Typical! The school, I'm sure, tries to engender individuality and confidence in its students during earlier years but, as soon as a sixth former dares to express that individuality (in a very reasonable manner, in my opinion), they come down on him like a ton of bricks! Sadly, I think this will have tainted the remaining time Patrick has at the school, which is a shame. JohnON
  • Score: 16

2:23pm Fri 14 Mar 14

Inkman says...

Terrible school that, maybe they should be more concerned about the behaviour of there kids on the way home from school and the behaviour of the management and teachers is disgusting. This lad looks smart and professional and i would be pleased to have someone so professional looking attending my school.

I would advise anyone thinking of sending there kids to this school to think again and read the terrible stories about it first.
Terrible school that, maybe they should be more concerned about the behaviour of there kids on the way home from school and the behaviour of the management and teachers is disgusting. This lad looks smart and professional and i would be pleased to have someone so professional looking attending my school. I would advise anyone thinking of sending there kids to this school to think again and read the terrible stories about it first. Inkman
  • Score: 15

2:37pm Fri 14 Mar 14

Positive thinker says...

Schools don't make the rules for them to be broken,can't believe the response iam reading but that's only my view
Schools don't make the rules for them to be broken,can't believe the response iam reading but that's only my view Positive thinker
  • Score: -12

2:48pm Fri 14 Mar 14

steady cyclist says...

I would brand it as bullying and belittleing a young chap by older memebrs of society,something that schools should deem unacceptable not actually enforce.
I would brand it as bullying and belittleing a young chap by older memebrs of society,something that schools should deem unacceptable not actually enforce. steady cyclist
  • Score: 5

2:56pm Fri 14 Mar 14

Coco Chanel says...

i find it hard in this day an age that a young man can make himself look respectable and gets punished by his peers.Yes there are school rules,is he hurting,offensive,bu
llying anyone etc,NO,he has only had his hair cut.
i find it hard in this day an age that a young man can make himself look respectable and gets punished by his peers.Yes there are school rules,is he hurting,offensive,bu llying anyone etc,NO,he has only had his hair cut. Coco Chanel
  • Score: 13

4:53pm Fri 14 Mar 14

uncatom says...

Its about some schools got a grip, the lad looks tidy and well groomed, we are unfortunate enough to live close to a school in Wallasey Village, the pupils from this school appear to spend most of their time from 9.30 am onwards shambling up and down to the many food outlets in the village, those that find it too tiring, usually congregate around the pensioners bungalows smoking and spitting, along with some of the staff as there are signs outside the school banning smoking, so much for fining parents for taking children out of school for holidays, when 50% of school time is wasted by kids wandering around most of the day,( idle hands and all that)
Its about some schools got a grip, the lad looks tidy and well groomed, we are unfortunate enough to live close to a school in Wallasey Village, the pupils from this school appear to spend most of their time from 9.30 am onwards shambling up and down to the many food outlets in the village, those that find it too tiring, usually congregate around the pensioners bungalows smoking and spitting, along with some of the staff as there are signs outside the school banning smoking, so much for fining parents for taking children out of school for holidays, when 50% of school time is wasted by kids wandering around most of the day,( idle hands and all that) uncatom
  • Score: 5

4:57pm Fri 14 Mar 14

TheMoonegg says...

I've been to Plessington and this is only one of countless times something like this has happened. I can tell you in 100% honesty the school, which shouldn't be allowed to call it's self a college or academy or whatever title it's given itself now, cares nothing about the individual student and only about the appearance of the school. I don't mean to say that all members of staff there are bad teachers, because they're not they are good teachers who care about the students and are nice to be taught by. However not all of them are and it seems that those who have any say in the running of the school are the ones focused on nothing but appearances and success at whatever cost fueled by what I as a student there could only see as greed and to some extent mad with power. I was a high achiever at the school until my final year until I chose to leave because of the highly negative effect the place had on my mental health. It is a totally ridiculously ran school who should listen to it's students, get its head out from where the sun doesn't shine and get its act together. How they've gone this long without a story like this not getting public has amazed me. The fact they still get good reviews from Ofsted and such organisations angers me, they totally shift the running of the school in terms of how lessons are taught, how senior staff behave and even to the extent of removing 'disruptive' students from classrooms on days of inspection.

They're nothing but a joke and I feel sorry for anyone who may be going through what I had to.
I've been to Plessington and this is only one of countless times something like this has happened. I can tell you in 100% honesty the school, which shouldn't be allowed to call it's self a college or academy or whatever title it's given itself now, cares nothing about the individual student and only about the appearance of the school. I don't mean to say that all members of staff there are bad teachers, because they're not they are good teachers who care about the students and are nice to be taught by. However not all of them are and it seems that those who have any say in the running of the school are the ones focused on nothing but appearances and success at whatever cost fueled by what I as a student there could only see as greed and to some extent mad with power. I was a high achiever at the school until my final year until I chose to leave because of the highly negative effect the place had on my mental health. It is a totally ridiculously ran school who should listen to it's students, get its head out from where the sun doesn't shine and get its act together. How they've gone this long without a story like this not getting public has amazed me. The fact they still get good reviews from Ofsted and such organisations angers me, they totally shift the running of the school in terms of how lessons are taught, how senior staff behave and even to the extent of removing 'disruptive' students from classrooms on days of inspection. They're nothing but a joke and I feel sorry for anyone who may be going through what I had to. TheMoonegg
  • Score: 17

7:31pm Fri 14 Mar 14

WirralBorn says...

I use to be a pupil at this school and I am shocked at their decision. They have put an emphasis on 'appearance' before education - that hardly sets a good example to other pupils.
I understand that they have rules that have to be enforced, but do they really see everything as black and white? The world doesn't work that way and they should be teaching their older pupils just that. This wasn't some deliberate attempt to break the rules and be disruptive, it was a simple mistake by a conscientious student who actually wants to educate himself further.
The school should be ashamed of themselves - a catholic school who are certainly not very understanding!!!
I use to be a pupil at this school and I am shocked at their decision. They have put an emphasis on 'appearance' before education - that hardly sets a good example to other pupils. I understand that they have rules that have to be enforced, but do they really see everything as black and white? The world doesn't work that way and they should be teaching their older pupils just that. This wasn't some deliberate attempt to break the rules and be disruptive, it was a simple mistake by a conscientious student who actually wants to educate himself further. The school should be ashamed of themselves - a catholic school who are certainly not very understanding!!! WirralBorn
  • Score: 4

7:35pm Fri 14 Mar 14

WirralBorn says...

Positive thinker wrote:
Schools don't make the rules for them to be broken,can't believe the response iam reading but that's only my view
No, schools don't make rules to be broken - but there is no common sense being used here! This wasn't a deliberate attempt to break the rules, it was a mistake. Have you never made a mistake? Do we think the teachers at the school have never made mistakes?
Why should a silly mistake be punished in such a harsh way that could have lasting consequences??
[quote][p][bold]Positive thinker[/bold] wrote: Schools don't make the rules for them to be broken,can't believe the response iam reading but that's only my view[/p][/quote]No, schools don't make rules to be broken - but there is no common sense being used here! This wasn't a deliberate attempt to break the rules, it was a mistake. Have you never made a mistake? Do we think the teachers at the school have never made mistakes? Why should a silly mistake be punished in such a harsh way that could have lasting consequences?? WirralBorn
  • Score: 10

8:49pm Fri 14 Mar 14

iamj95 says...

I think the mother should lodge formal complaints with Ofsted, would be interesting to see how they feel about a school jeopardising a young mans education and chances of getting into university over personal appearance.
I think the mother should lodge formal complaints with Ofsted, would be interesting to see how they feel about a school jeopardising a young mans education and chances of getting into university over personal appearance. iamj95
  • Score: 10

9:50pm Fri 14 Mar 14

JimmyMercury says...

He is a young adult at eighteen years of age. He is entitled to drink alcohol, vote, get killed for his country etc. If he was getting further education in a college they wouldn't dare criticise his appearance. As previously stated by many, he looks a very smart lad and takes his education seriously so what is the problem?
He is a young adult at eighteen years of age. He is entitled to drink alcohol, vote, get killed for his country etc. If he was getting further education in a college they wouldn't dare criticise his appearance. As previously stated by many, he looks a very smart lad and takes his education seriously so what is the problem? JimmyMercury
  • Score: 9

11:06pm Fri 14 Mar 14

eddtheduckmorex says...

what would they do if a pupil had cancer and lost their hair?
would they of banned them?
what would they do if a pupil had cancer and lost their hair? would they of banned them? eddtheduckmorex
  • Score: 5

9:57am Sat 15 Mar 14

bluey says...

Maybe the school should worry about the behavior of their pupils rather than a young lads haircut. I have witnessed first hand the behavior of the pupils from this school on a regular basis when they are walking to and from school (in uniform) and also towards staff of the nearby leisure center...despicable
Maybe the school should worry about the behavior of their pupils rather than a young lads haircut. I have witnessed first hand the behavior of the pupils from this school on a regular basis when they are walking to and from school (in uniform) and also towards staff of the nearby leisure center...despicable bluey
  • Score: 6

11:52am Sat 15 Mar 14

city56 says...

Nothing surprise's me with this school, it is run like a detention center. This young man looks very smart, but this is not acceptable ? and yet long hair is ? Who are they to judge what looks right or wrong ? I removed my son from this school as i found it very negative and to harsh on pupils My son was given an hours detention for wearing a Holy brace late in his first year . We were told they are not allowed. Also pupils during a very hot spell last year pupils had to wear blazer tie and jumper and were not allowed to take them off, while all teacher were walking around in summer shirts.I telephoned the school to complain as it was really hot weather. The school told me that pupils wearing their full uniform should continue to do so as the Headmaster has not declared summer uniform as yet and until he does then this still stands. The children carried on having to wear the full uniform including jumper for another 4 days. Also we had the headlines relating to the priest from that school...Wirral priest Father Peter Hooper priest admits having sex with 14-year-old boy.We never received a letter home from the school about this matter, and any children caught talking about this was sent to a certain classroom for the day and where not allowed to mix with other pupils,they brushed this matter under the carpet..What message is this giving to children ? You are not allowed to talk about abuse ? If so you are in big trouble ? This school does not care about their pupils or what effect their nasty rules are having on the pupils confidence or the humiliation the pupil feels by being singled . Oh and not forgetting the sly remarks aimed at my son by certain teachers in front of classrooms of pupils, leaving my son feeling stupid and humiliated
Nothing surprise's me with this school, it is run like a detention center. This young man looks very smart, but this is not acceptable ? and yet long hair is ? Who are they to judge what looks right or wrong ? I removed my son from this school as i found it very negative and to harsh on pupils My son was given an hours detention for wearing a Holy brace late in his first year . We were told they are not allowed. Also pupils during a very hot spell last year pupils had to wear blazer tie and jumper and were not allowed to take them off, while all teacher were walking around in summer shirts.I telephoned the school to complain as it was really hot weather. The school told me that pupils wearing their full uniform should continue to do so as the Headmaster has not declared summer uniform as yet and until he does then this still stands. The children carried on having to wear the full uniform including jumper for another 4 days. Also we had the headlines relating to the priest from that school...Wirral priest Father Peter Hooper priest admits having sex with 14-year-old boy.We never received a letter home from the school about this matter, and any children caught talking about this was sent to a certain classroom for the day and where not allowed to mix with other pupils,they brushed this matter under the carpet..What message is this giving to children ? You are not allowed to talk about abuse ? If so you are in big trouble ? This school does not care about their pupils or what effect their nasty rules are having on the pupils confidence or the humiliation the pupil feels by being singled . Oh and not forgetting the sly remarks aimed at my son by certain teachers in front of classrooms of pupils, leaving my son feeling stupid and humiliated city56
  • Score: 10

12:00pm Sat 15 Mar 14

keen gardener says...

We are ALL entitled to being different and if it does not offend/affect others I say "go for it". If an individual decides to look and test "outside of the rule box" should they be excluded? Think not, says I. Why? I did similar back in the 60's and am still doing so today - it is what "LIFE" is all about. Enough said!
We are ALL entitled to being different and if it does not offend/affect others I say "go for it". If an individual decides to look and test "outside of the rule box" should they be excluded? Think not, says I. Why? I did similar back in the 60's and am still doing so today - it is what "LIFE" is all about. Enough said! keen gardener
  • Score: -5

3:32pm Sat 15 Mar 14

ROYAL HUSSAR says...

This attitude is typical of the catholic point of view
Do as we say,not even if it is logical
This attitude is typical of the catholic point of view Do as we say,not even if it is logical ROYAL HUSSAR
  • Score: 1

7:12pm Sat 15 Mar 14

bigfoot says...

The hair seems ok,but the earring!
The hair seems ok,but the earring! bigfoot
  • Score: 6

9:22pm Sat 15 Mar 14

Jim Bentley says...

I shaved my head in high school, number 3 blade all over. The teachers told me I'd have to sit outside the headteachers office until it grew back as it was "offensive". My uncle (a police officer and fellow skinhead) went in to have a chat with the headmaster, after a brief chat it was decided that a shaved head is not an offensive haircut and my ban on being outside at break times was lifted.

I was irritated so didn't have my hair cut for the rest of the year. Towards the end of my time at high school, teachers were telling me I needed to get a haircut as a ponytail wasn't acceptable in high school. That was over 20 years ago, that this is still going on now just goes to show how petty minded the educators of our children are and gives me great cause for concern as to the quality of the education they're giving kids if they get bogged down in bureaucratic nonsense like "Little Timmy has a haircut I don't like, lets stop his education" rather than focus on the great responsibility they have to make sure children receive a good, well rounded education.

With me it was sitting in at breaktimes which is a bit ****. This guy's education is actually stopped, his development as an adult is halted because some jobsworth teacher decided he didn't like his haircut?
I shaved my head in high school, number 3 blade all over. The teachers told me I'd have to sit outside the headteachers office until it grew back as it was "offensive". My uncle (a police officer and fellow skinhead) went in to have a chat with the headmaster, after a brief chat it was decided that a shaved head is not an offensive haircut and my ban on being outside at break times was lifted. I was irritated so didn't have my hair cut for the rest of the year. Towards the end of my time at high school, teachers were telling me I needed to get a haircut as a ponytail wasn't acceptable in high school. That was over 20 years ago, that this is still going on now just goes to show how petty minded the educators of our children are and gives me great cause for concern as to the quality of the education they're giving kids if they get bogged down in bureaucratic nonsense like "Little Timmy has a haircut I don't like, lets stop his education" rather than focus on the great responsibility they have to make sure children receive a good, well rounded education. With me it was sitting in at breaktimes which is a bit ****. This guy's education is actually stopped, his development as an adult is halted because some jobsworth teacher decided he didn't like his haircut? Jim Bentley
  • Score: 3

10:43am Sun 16 Mar 14

Hugo1008 says...

Before everyone gets hysterical and out of proportion the whole issue is about discipline, Good , Bad, or Indifferent, discipline is a very necessary element in any kind of organisation.

Discipline is also a two edged sword, so unless you know all the circumstances surrounding this very minor issue nobody should be making any strong remarks either for or against.

We the public hire representatives in the form of Teachers and Head Teachers and even a Board of Governors maybe a PTA just but out and leave them to get on with the job they are entrusted to do without any Hysteria.
Before everyone gets hysterical and out of proportion the whole issue is about discipline, Good , Bad, or Indifferent, discipline is a very necessary element in any kind of organisation. Discipline is also a two edged sword, so unless you know all the circumstances surrounding this very minor issue nobody should be making any strong remarks either for or against. We the public hire representatives in the form of Teachers and Head Teachers and even a Board of Governors maybe a PTA just but out and leave them to get on with the job they are entrusted to do without any Hysteria. Hugo1008
  • Score: 1

10:45am Sun 16 Mar 14

Mojo68 says...

I cannot believe this has actually happened, I had to check my calendar to make sure I hadn't been asleep for a couple of weeks and it was April 1st!!! What the hell is wrong with this young man's haircut? I think he looks smart and respectable, it's not like he's shaved all his hair off or had patterns or lines shaved into his hair. Have some bloody common sense will you or if you can't find any in yourselves then resign from teaching and get a job at Wallasey Town Hall with the other baffoons!!!
I cannot believe this has actually happened, I had to check my calendar to make sure I hadn't been asleep for a couple of weeks and it was April 1st!!! What the hell is wrong with this young man's haircut? I think he looks smart and respectable, it's not like he's shaved all his hair off or had patterns or lines shaved into his hair. Have some bloody common sense will you or if you can't find any in yourselves then resign from teaching and get a job at Wallasey Town Hall with the other baffoons!!! Mojo68
  • Score: 2

10:48am Sun 16 Mar 14

MissusMercury says...

WHY DO SCHOOLS CARE MORE ABOUT THEIR PUPILS APPEARANCE RATHER THAN THEIR MENTAL AND PHYSICAL HEALTH?!?!
WHY DO SCHOOLS CARE MORE ABOUT THEIR PUPILS APPEARANCE RATHER THAN THEIR MENTAL AND PHYSICAL HEALTH?!?! MissusMercury
  • Score: 4

10:51am Sun 16 Mar 14

Mojo68 says...

Do YOU know all the circumstances then Hugo1008?? Feel free to enlighten us all before we all shave our heads and storm the school!! lol
Do YOU know all the circumstances then Hugo1008?? Feel free to enlighten us all before we all shave our heads and storm the school!! lol Mojo68
  • Score: -2

7:51pm Sun 16 Mar 14

Natwatto says...

My son who also attends the same school and is in year 9!! Got his haircut on Wednesday of last week to a number 2 and yes he's been isolated from lessons and from his colleagues!! I am absolutely disgusted in all this I really am!! Can you please tell me were in the school or in Sjp handbook/planner were does it say that you are not allowed a number 2!!! My son is upset about the whole ordeal and I will be making an official complaint to to the school!! If Patricks mum is reading this then will you please get in contact with me as I feel that we should both complain to the school!!! What will tomorrow bring for my son another day in isolation!!! He's bring treated like a leper!!! Disgusting and I am having doubts now as to take him out of the school before he starts his gcse's this September!!!
My son who also attends the same school and is in year 9!! Got his haircut on Wednesday of last week to a number 2 and yes he's been isolated from lessons and from his colleagues!! I am absolutely disgusted in all this I really am!! Can you please tell me were in the school or in Sjp handbook/planner were does it say that you are not allowed a number 2!!! My son is upset about the whole ordeal and I will be making an official complaint to to the school!! If Patricks mum is reading this then will you please get in contact with me as I feel that we should both complain to the school!!! What will tomorrow bring for my son another day in isolation!!! He's bring treated like a leper!!! Disgusting and I am having doubts now as to take him out of the school before he starts his gcse's this September!!! Natwatto
  • Score: 3

7:56pm Sun 16 Mar 14

Natwatto says...

Oh and it is okay to have long hair if you are a boy which I think looks messy and in my eyes this is a health and safety issue!! Do the boys have there hair tied back oh I bet they don't!!!
Oh and it is okay to have long hair if you are a boy which I think looks messy and in my eyes this is a health and safety issue!! Do the boys have there hair tied back oh I bet they don't!!! Natwatto
  • Score: -4

9:19am Mon 17 Mar 14

uncatom says...

As regards to haircuts being offensive, I am in my latter years and regularly have my haircut to a number 3 the reason for this is I don't have a lot of hair , and it certainly looks better than having a comb over, and it feels clean and tidy, am I anti social?.
As regards to haircuts being offensive, I am in my latter years and regularly have my haircut to a number 3 the reason for this is I don't have a lot of hair , and it certainly looks better than having a comb over, and it feels clean and tidy, am I anti social?. uncatom
  • Score: -1

9:50am Mon 17 Mar 14

Positive thinker says...

Two sides to every story! We're only getting one
Two sides to every story! We're only getting one Positive thinker
  • Score: 3

9:55am Mon 17 Mar 14

JohnON says...

Positive thinker wrote:
Two sides to every story! We're only getting one
A spokesman for St John Plessington Catholic College said: “....."

Seems like both sides of the story to me.
[quote][p][bold]Positive thinker[/bold] wrote: Two sides to every story! We're only getting one[/p][/quote]A spokesman for St John Plessington Catholic College said: “....." Seems like both sides of the story to me. JohnON
  • Score: 4

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