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Catholic school criticised for banning Muslim girl's headscarf

It has emerged a complaint made by the family of the four year old pupil at St Clare's Catholic Primary School in Handsworth prompted a meeting between the headteacher and local Labour councillor Waseem Zaffar last week.

Cllr Waseem Zaffar, the city council's Cabinet Member for Transparency, Openness and Equality, claimed St Clare's had contravened the Equality Act, adding: "I'm insisting this matter is addressed ASAP with a change of policy.

"Senior education officers from Birmingham City Council will also discuss this matter with the concerned school early next week whilst the head and governors discuss their next action."

Alongside examples including an image of a woman wearing a headscarf, St Clare's website specifies "hats or scarves are not allowed to be worn in school".

In a statement, Birmingham City Council said it is "supporting" St Clare's Catholic Primary School "to ensure its policy is appropriate"

Councillor Brigid Jones, Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Schools, said: "Each school's governing body is responsible for the creation and implementation of its own uniform policy.

"However, the local authority is supporting the school to ensure its policy is appropriate, in line with legal requirements, and we are engaging with all schools to remind them of their responsibilities when it comes to setting school uniform policies."

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