More than half of black pupils experience name-calling or uncomfortable questions about their hair at school, according to new research.

A study by the Halo Collective, an alliance of organisations and individuals working to create a future without hair discrimination, found that 58 percent of black students have had to endure negative comments about their looks.

The group also found that many black women feel pressure to straighten their hair for work.

Now, as part of Black History Month, a Birmingham school has signed up to the Halo Collective Code in a bid to help end hair discrimination.

Jewellery Quarter Academy, which is part of the CORE Education Trust, has pledged to champion the right for students and staff to embrace all afro hairstyles and ‘build a community where hair texture and style has no bearing on ability to succeed’.

This approach will be adopted into the school’s uniform policy, meaning no pupil or staff member should feel pressure to change their hair.

Pupils at Jewellery Quarter Academy when they returned to school as part of the first stage of lockdown easing

“Respect and opportunity are cornerstones of a CORE education and at the heart of what we offer at Jewellery Quarter Academy,” said head of school Jamie Barton.

“So it cannot be right that any member of our community feels any sort of pressure to change their natural hairstyle to conform or succeed.

“All students should be able to come to school being themselves and feel proud of their identity. That is why we are proud to sign up to the Halo Code.”

Year 10 student Aivah-Mae says she is pleased that her school has signed up to the Halo Collective code.

She said: “I’m really happy because I can just be me and I don’t have to change the way I look for anyone else.”

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