Pimlico Academy headteacher at centre of uniform policy protests will leave at end of the month

·2-min read
<p>A police officer outside Pimlico School where pupils protested against Mr Smith’s uniform policies</p> (PA)

A police officer outside Pimlico School where pupils protested against Mr Smith’s uniform policies

(PA)

The headteacher at the centre of a race row over his “discriminatory” school uniform policies has resigned and will leave Pimlico Academy at the end of the month.

Daniel Smith, principal at the Westminster school, confirmed on Tuesday that he will step down from the role on May 31.

In a statement to the Standard, a Pimlico Academy spokesperson said: “Mr Daniel Smith has informed the trust of his intention to step down from his position as principal of Pimlico Academy. Mr Smith will leave this role on the 31st May 2021.

“We thank Mr Smith for his unwavering commitment during this time which has been very difficult due to the ongoing impacts of the pandemic.”

They also confirmed the academy’s current acting senior vice principal Anthony Oulton will take over as acting principal from the start of the next half-term.

“Mr Oulton, who is well known to staff and students at the academy, will be working with Mr Smith to ensure a smooth transition in the coming weeks,” they added.

Daniel SmithPaternoster
Daniel SmithPaternoster

Mr Smith was forced to back down over hardline school uniform policies - including banning hairstyles that “block the view of others” - after chaotic student protests in March and allegations of race discrimination.

At the time, unionised staff at the academy also delivered a vote of no confidence in Mr Smith, as scores of pupils walked out of lessons in protest against the school’s leadership.

In a letter to parents last month, Mr Smith said: “Our students are bright, courageous, intelligent young people, passionate about the things that matter to them and acutely attuned to injustice.

“I admire them hugely for this though I regret that it came to this.”

Tony Oulton takes over next monthPaternoster
Tony Oulton takes over next monthPaternoster

However, it appears the bad feeling between the school’s leadership and its pupils and parents has not subsided enough to save his position as principal.

Parents were critical of Mr Smith’s approach since taking over at the school, with one year 8 mother telling the Standard he had created a “more conservative environment”.

She said: “I feel that the whole ethos of the school is being changed into a stricter, more conservative, less open environment and it’s not the school that it was before Mr Smith joined.”

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