This is not because of health and safety, nor because we fear fashion rivalry, but simply because while long acrylic nails do look decorative, they are a drawback when it comes to holding a pen, picking up a paintbrush, kneading dough in food science or playing sport in PE.
This stops their wearers from doing their work and that is enough to earn them a place in our own Room 101, alongside energy drinks, body piercings, trainers and fidget spinners.
Banning things comes as part of the territory when it comes to running a school. It is often a controversial issue and different schools take different approaches to different fads and fashions.
We do allow mobile phones in school, but not in lessons, while some schools ban them completely.
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Other schools might have different rules on hair and footwear, although I can’t imagine many schools allowing fidget spinners.
They are no longer as widespread as they once were but they became hugely popular during one school holiday and I only found out what they were at 9am on the first day back. By 11am, I’d banned them.
We have already sent a letter home to parents about false nails, following on from a reminder letter concerning the ban on energy drinks, as well as family-sized bags of crisps.
We rely on the co-operation of parents, hoping that while they want to give their children the freedom to express and enjoy themselves, they understand that we are a community which cannot function without rules.
One of our rules is that learning is key and nothing must disrupt that, which is why the nails, alongside the energy drinks – which can cause a student to be hyperactive one minute and lethargic the next, when the sugar high wears off – have now found their way onto the banned list.