Students at Pimlico Academy in London stage protest over ‘racist’ uniform policy

Students chanted ‘we want change’ this morning as they protested against their head teacher’s policy banning Afro hair and ‘colourful’ hijabs.

Videos of pupils taking action at Pimlico Academy in Westminster, central London, have gone viral on social media, being shared hundreds of times. 

The school told sixth form students and parents of the new uniform policy in a letter last August, saying that hairstyles which ‘block the views’ of others were now banned.

An online petition was swiftly set up against the ‘racist’ policy, and it has since been signed by more than a thousand people. 

The National Education Union, which represents the school’s teachers, was due to hold a vote of no confidence in new head Daniel Smith last night.

Discussions over potential strike action were also due to take place, while one teacher warned of a ‘mass exodus’ of up to 30 staff members leaving the school.

Parents and police wait outside the school gates as school children demonstrate in the playground of Pimlico Academy

Parents and police wait outside the school gates as school children demonstrate in the playground of Pimlico Academy

Parents and police wait outside the school gates as school children demonstrate in the playground of Pimlico Academy

A demonstrator outside the school gates holds up a sign reading: 'I stand with Pimlico students'

A demonstrator outside the school gates holds up a sign reading: 'I stand with Pimlico students'

A demonstrator outside the school gates holds up a sign reading: ‘I stand with Pimlico students’

The school playground was packed full of students after they refused to take part in lessons

The school playground was packed full of students after they refused to take part in lessons

The school playground was packed full of students after they refused to take part in lessons

A sit-down protest was held at the school this morning against its controversial uniform policy

There are warnings of a 'mass exodus' of teaching staff from the school in Westminster

There are warnings of a 'mass exodus' of teaching staff from the school in Westminster

There are warnings of a ‘mass exodus’ of teaching staff from the school in Westminster

The National Education Union, which represents the school's teachers, was due to hold a vote of no confidence in new head Daniel Smith last night

The National Education Union, which represents the school's teachers, was due to hold a vote of no confidence in new head Daniel Smith last night

The National Education Union, which represents the school’s teachers, was due to hold a vote of no confidence in new head Daniel Smith last night

A poster advertising the student walk out

A poster advertising the student walk out

A poster advertising the student walk out

Non-students joined in the action today, with parents pictured outside the school gates, including one holding a placard which read: ‘I stand with Pimlico students.’

Police officers were also seen on the premises. 

The sit-down protest came following reports that a senior member of staff had asked pupils to cancel the action the day before, but this only made the teenagers more determined to take part. 

Graffiti – since removed – daubed the walls of the school over the weekend, criticising the Union Jack flag which flies outside the premises all year round.

The graffiti said: ‘Ain’t no black in the Union Jack’, ‘White schools for brown kids are u mad’ and ‘Pimlico Academy…run by racists…for profit,’ according to reports.

The same flag was previously taken down and burned by pupils last September.

In a petition, the students claimed the uniform policy would penalise Muslims and those with afro hairstyles and demanded a change.   

One pupil told the Guardian ahead of the protest: ‘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.’

Meanwhile a teacher, who has handed in her resignation at the school, told the site she felt staff voices were not being heard. 

Pimlico Academy has been approached for comment on today’s protest.

Students packed out the school playground for the protest earlier this morning

Students packed out the school playground for the protest earlier this morning

Students packed out the school playground for the protest earlier this morning

Students packed out the school playground for the protest earlier this morning

Students packed out the school playground for the protest earlier this morning

Videos of pupils taking action at Pimlico Academy in Westminster, central London , have gone viral on social media, being shared hundreds of times

Videos of pupils taking action at Pimlico Academy in Westminster, central London , have gone viral on social media, being shared hundreds of times

Videos of pupils taking action at Pimlico Academy in Westminster, central London , have gone viral on social media, being shared hundreds of times

Videos of pupils taking action at Pimlico Academy in Westminster, central London , have gone viral on social media, being shared hundreds of times

Videos of pupils taking action at Pimlico Academy in Westminster, central London , have gone viral on social media, being shared hundreds of times

Students chanted 'we want change' this morning as they protested against their head teacher's policy banning Afro hair and 'colourful' hijabs

Students chanted 'we want change' this morning as they protested against their head teacher's policy banning Afro hair and 'colourful' hijabs

Students chanted 'we want change' this morning as they protested against their head teacher's policy banning Afro hair and 'colourful' hijabs

Students chanted 'we want change' this morning as they protested against their head teacher's policy banning Afro hair and 'colourful' hijabs

Students chanted ‘we want change’ this morning as they protested against their head teacher’s policy banning Afro hair and ‘colourful’ hijabs

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