PLANS to introduce a uniform headscarf at a Burnley school have been abandoned.

Last term bosses at Sir John Thursby Community College announced a uniform covering after concerns were raised that headscarves were not being worn correctly.

But hundreds of people signed a petition protesting against the move saying the new headscarves were uncomfortable, not sufficiently modest and breached health and safety.


Under former headteacher David Burton, the Eastern Avenue school launched a consultation with parents.

Now it has written to them outlining requirements for the wearing of headscarves but has abandoned the idea of having its own one.

In the letter associate headteacher Dr Derek Davies said: “We would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the consultation on the appropriate wearing of college headscarves.

“We are pleased to support those young people who have made the choice to wear a headscarf for religious reasons, and who do so in a manner which ensures their safety, whilst meeting the college uniform requirements.”

Rules require headscarves to be black without tassels or adornments, worn without pins and so that ties are clearly displayed.

Dr Davies added: “As with any other breach of college uniform, parents will be informed of their child’s failure to comply with uniform rules on a regular basis.

“We trust you will support our efforts to allow students the freedom to comply with religious and modesty requirements whilst maintaining a safe, smart and respectful compliance to the college uniform requirements.”

Acting headteacher Brendan Conboy, who took over this term, said: “Students can wear their own headscarves. As long as it is within the guidelines there is no issue at all.”

Campaigners welcomed the move.

Parent Mariyan Raja, 36, who set up a petition protesting the headscarf, said: “We respect that the school has co-operated and we are pleased that they have listened to the parents and pupils.

“My daughter is happy with the headscarf she is wearing.”

Cllr Lubna Khan, of the Bank Hall ward, said she was glad the school went back to the drawing board.

She said: “If the students are happy with it I am happy with it.

“I want young people to be comfortable and confident.

“It is a religious piece of attire but it is also a representation of themselves. Young people need to feel free to express their identity.

“Headscarves are a very personal thing. To introduce it as a uniform is a controversial subject.”