Students at a school in West London staged a mass protest on Wednesday over what they describe as a ‘racist’ uniform policy change, and have taken issue with the Union flag being flown from the school building.
Footage widely circulated on social media showed the pupils of Pimlico Academy sat on the school playground refusing to attend class due to new rules prohibiting hairstyles that ‘block the views’ of others and ban overly colourful hijabs.
Non students including parents and campaigners also attended the protest from outside the school gates, which ultimately required a police presence as protestors defied requests from the school to cancel the event and chanted “We want change!”
The National Education Union was expected to hold a no confidence vote in the headmaster of the school, Mr Dean Smith, last night and talks of strike action by the teachers was also reportedly on the table.
Graffiti also appeared on the walls around the school over the weekend taking issue with the Union flag that flies on the school premises. One vandal scrawled: “Aint no black in the Union Jack” with another accusing the institution of being “run by racists… for profit”.
The Union flag was previously seized last September and burned by pupils, according to reports.
London Assembly member Peter Whittle commented on how it was “interesting” that the National Education Union had taken such an active role on this issue but only offered a very non-committal response to the situation in Batley where a teacher is under police protection and facing calls to be sacked for showing a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad.
One pupil told the Guardian: “We believe the school has unfairly targeted groups of students. The school should protect marginalised races, religions and other groups instead of target them.
“We should see ourselves and our backgrounds represented in our studies.”
Pimlico Academy is yet to comment on today’s events.