A schoolgirl has been banned from the classroom just ten minutes into the new term after her blonde highlights were deemed "inappropriate".
Carina Murray, 14, was treated to a £130 trip to the salon for natural blonde highlights through her mid-brown locks, at the end of the summer holidays.
But she was mortified when teachers at school left her outside on the field because her tresses apparently breached a school ban on "unnatural" hair colours.
Carina's mum Pauline says the year 10 pupil has been told she isn't allowed back in the classroom at Ark Alexandra Academy, in Hastings, East Sussex, until her hair is dyed back to brown.
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But she remains at home, missing school, because Carina and her family are unprepared to adhere to the rules and change her hair colour.
Pauline, 47, said: "As far as I am concerned, blonde is a natural colour.
"The school rules state that in this situation she would need to go home and have her hair colour amended. This is complete and utter discrimination.
"Carina was very anxious about returning to school today, and she phoned me from the field where 'excluded' children were placed in floods of tears.
"As you can imagine, I am absolutely livid."
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Pauline, a carer, said Carina missed out on some lessons last year because her father, James Murray, 73, had suffered four heart attacks.
Carina had her highlights done as a treat on August 17 but the school website states any colour that is "unnatural" is inappropriate and therefore not allowed.
But Pauline argues the highlights are a natural blonde colour.
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Carina was excluded just ten minutes after the school bell on the first day back on Wednesday.
Her mum was called to collect her, but refused, so Carina was put in isolation for the day and told not to come back until her hair is brown, the family said.
The school insist Carina goes back to the salon and has her hair changed back to a 'natural' colour before they let her return to her education, Pauline said.
Ark Alexandra Academy Principal Liam Collins said: “We have a long-standing rule on hair colour at Ark Alexandra, which is communicated to all parents and students and can be found on our website.
"We welcomed back all our students this week, 99% of whom were wearing their uniform with pride and adhering to the rules on appearance.
"We had a tiny minority of students (less than 1%) that had dyed or bleached hair.
"All but one of the students has returned to lessons with hair one natural colour.
"I have offered to meet Ms Murray several times, but so far there's been reluctance.
"The priority is having Carina back in class, but in the interim, we are providing home working packs. I look forward to welcoming Carina back into school as soon as her hair is returned to one natural colour.”
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