Mum claims school involved in high court battle banned her son because he has dreadlocks

Rastafarian boy left with no school to go

A school embroiled in a High Court battle for �barring a boy because of his haircut has denied a Rastafarian pupil a place because of his dreadlocks, his mum claims.

Mahlei Simpson-Miles, 11, of Monks Park, Wembley, was left ‘‘devastated’’ after he was told he couldn’t attend St. Gregory’s school in Donnington Road, Kenton, because of his hair.

His mum Maureen Miles, a full-time foster carer for babies, accused the school of discrimination.

The family are Rastafarian, a religion in which dreadlocks are traditionally worn.


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Ms Miles said: “I was told that even though my son had a place, he couldn’t go unless I cut his hair.

“But that is part of our �religion. I have always been a Rastafarian and so have all my children. It is part of our identity to show who we are.

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Unlawful

“He was just not given a chance. He has been �discriminated against.”

Ms Miles withdrew Mahlei’s application after being told she would have to cut his hair.

The dispute delayed Mahlei’s application to go to another school, hampering his chances of winning a place at a secondary near his home.

The revelation comes as St. Gregory’s await a High Court ruling which will �determine whether its �uniform policy is unlawful.

The oversubscribed school was taken to court by the family of another �pupil who was turned away from the gates on his first day in September 2009 �because he wore his hair in cornrows.

Andrew Prindiville, headteacher at St Gregory’s, said he did not comment on individual cases, but he was aware that the council had been contacted by Ms Miles and that he would help Brent in whatever way he could.

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