Tuesday, January 27, 2009

British schoolgirls banned from lessons by headmaster for being 'too blonde'

What smallmindedness!

A headteacher has come under fire from parents and pupils after banning two 16-year-olds from school for being 'too blonde'. Raegan Booth, 16, and Aby Western, 15, say they were threatened with expulsion by David Alexander unless they dyed their hair brown. The girls claim they are being forced to adhere to the strict dress code of Rednock School in Dursley, Gloucestershire, in order to sit GCSE exams. But Raegan remains adamant that her hair is a natural shade of blonde. She said:'The school rules clearly state that there are to be no "unnatural" hair colours on students. 'Unnatural hair colours are blue, purple, green and bright red. Blonde is considered a natural hair colour and there are many different shades.

'The head claims that he must follow the rules. To me this suggests that certain students are being made to look a way which is against their will. 'I believe this is wrong and no amount of hair dye affects a person's ability in school.' The teenager, who is refusing to dye her hair a darker shade, added: 'As we are in the middle of our GCSE year, we should not be excluded over something so petty. 'This is a crucial time for us and we should be focusing solely on our grades as opposed to our level of appearance.'

Martin Booth, Raegan's father said: 'Raegan is a model pupil and is working very hard towards her exams. 'She is always well turned out, her hair looks a very natural blonde. 'This is their final year, they are under enough pressure with GCSEs, they do not need to be worrying about their hair.'

Mr Alexander, who is due to meet with Raegan, denies the claims. He said that the girls were sent home only to dye their hair, and that they would still have been allowed to sit their GCSE exams. He said: 'We would not stop any student from sitting their GCSEs, it is in our interests that every student sits their GCSEs at the school. 'We are just trying to be consistent and apply the rules across the board. This code of conduct has been in place for a long time. 'However I am going to be meeting with parents to talk about looking again at the code and making it more clear. 'I think the problem is how you interpret the rules and we need to make it clearer for the students and parents. 'I accept this is a stressful time for the GCSE students, but we have to be consistent with our rules and must apply it to all year groups, otherwise it would be unfair.'


Dumbed down education hits home in Australia

POOR spelling and grammar, verbose resumes and applications that include too many personal details are killing the chance of job seekers finding work. Recruiters and those who help applicants prepare CVs and resumes say they are astounded by some of the obvious mistakes that job applicants make. "The world of texting and emails has lowered people's standards of English," Jeanette Hannan of Brisbane firm Resumes for Results said. "I receive emails with text message jargon. I straight away dismiss them."

Some applicants put too many details about their private lives, and wrote resumes that were 20 to 30 pages long. "They will put in that they are married, how many children they have, even the dog's name," Ms Hannan said. One woman even detailed her husband's and father's job qualifications.

Ms Hannan said job seekers often failed to sell their achievements, such as boosting sales achieved in a previous job. Kevin Alexander, practice leader with recruitment firm Hudson, said many people forgot the importance of the resume document. "It is the document that the candidate will be initially judged against, and therefore it is vital to get right," he said. While candidates could get away with a few lapses in their resume in the past, as the job market intensified this year employers would look for those who stood out, Mr Alexander said. Many people with great resumes fell at the interview hurdle and job applicants needed to be prepared for several interviews, he said.

Recruiter Glenda Stenner said the internet had made it too easy for people to apply for jobs, and as a result some applied for too many positions, including those for which they were not qualified. She has seen bad spelling mistakes, particularly in resumes of people applying for administrative positions.

Ms Stenner said employers and recruiters were being inundated with applications, and resumes and cover letters needed to have enough impact to get the job seeker on to the shortlist. "It should be just the facts," Ms Stenner said. One employer said he sometimes had to scroll down five pages of information before he found out where an applicant had worked. Ms Stenner said some applicants failed to tailor cover letters to the position, and were sending the same cover letter over and over, with the same mistakes.

Deborah Barit of Impressive Interviews said many applicants did not explain what they did and tried to give employers too much information they were not interested in.


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