A college which told pupils to remove facial coverings, including religious veils, for security reasons, has now changed its policy. A city college was forced to drop its controversial ban on Muslim face veils – less than 24 hours before a mass demonstration by hundreds of students.
The astonishing U-turn by Birmingham Metropolitan College came after a protest petition attracted a staggering 8,000 signatures in just 48 hours. Hundreds of students planned to gather outside the Matthew Boulton city-centre campus at 2.30pm on Friday to voice their opposition to the policy, which was criticised by city councillors and MPs.
On Thursday night, in the face of the furore, the college announced its humiliating climbdown.
A statement said: “We are concerned that recent media attention is detracting from our core mission of providing high quality learning. As a consequence, we will modify our policies to allow individuals to wear specific items of personal clothing to reflect their cultural values.
“The college will still need to be able to confirm an individual’s identity in order to maintain safeguarding and security.
“We have listened to the views of our students and we are confident that this modification to our policies will meet the needs of all of our learners and stakeholders.”