A school in north London has reversed a decision to ban students from wearing cornrows after a public outcry.
St John’s Senior School in Enfield told parents in a letter that girls would not be allowed to wear cornrows or “knotted braids”.
The letter was posted on social media and prompted angry reactions from thousands of Twitter users.
The school admitted the restrictions “would be unduly restrictive on the styles girls may wish to adopt”.
In the letter, dated 12 September, the school, based on The Ridgeway, said girls would be subject to various conditions.
These included “single plaits only, all plaits to be thin to medium only, knotless braids only, natural hair colour only, cornrows or knotted braids will not be permitted, all extensions must be tied in a ponytail at all times, hair must be worn no longer than shoulder length”.
Twitter user BeeBabs shared the letter on Friday morning and received thousands of comments within hours of posting it.
By Friday afternoon, the school issued a statement saying the “approach reflected in [its] letter was to be on a trial basis”, adding that “in light of concerns raised by a number of parents and pupils, we appreciate that, while we believe it is appropriate to place a restriction on hair length, our proposals would be unduly restrictive on the styles girls may wish to adopt”.
It said it had made the proposals “following the increased use of hair extensions by girls at the school and in an attempt to ensure a uniform but fair approach, particularly with regard to hair length”.
The school confirmed it would not be implementing the proposed restrictions, except for requiring students to wear their hair no longer than shoulder length.
|Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Lord’s (day two):|
|Durham 147 & 191: Robson 64; Harris 3-43 Finn 3-49|
|Middlesex 143 & 21-0: Robson 9*|
|Durham (3 pts) lead Middlesex (3 pts) by 175 runs|
Middlesex require another 175 runs to beat Durham in Division Two as wickets tumbled on day two at Lord’s.
Middlesex had started the day on 87-7 in their first innings, and managed to add another 54 as they were all out for 143, Ben Raine finishing with 5-26.
The visitors then posted 191 with the bat to lead by 195 runs, as Angus Robson top scored with 64.
Middlesex had to bat the last five overs of the day but held out on 21-0 as play was suspended for bad light.
Seventh-placed Middlesex started the game 18 points behind Northamptonshire in third, with Durham, in fifth, 10 points better off.
Middlesex kept their target under 200 thanks in part to bowlers James Harris (3-43) and Steven Finn (3-49)
Openers Nick Gubbins (8 not out) and Sam Robson (9 not out) will resume for the hosts on day three.
RugbyX will see the introduction of rugby’s version of the ‘Super Over’, with drawn matches decided by a revolutionary one-on-one contest.
In the event of a draw, a single attacker from one team will try and score past a single defender from the other.
The ‘one-on-one’ has been included as part of the full laws of RugbyX, which have now been confirmed by World Rugby.
Rugby’s newest version launches at the 02 Arena on 29 October.
England, Ireland and the Barbarians are among the teams involved at the debut tournament, which involves both men and women’s teams.
Dubbed ‘Rugby’s Twenty20’, RugbyX is a five-a-side version of the game, is full contact and played on a half-sized pitch.
Halves will be 10 minutes each, with no break in between.
Kicking is allowed, but kicks must not exceed 10 metres in height, with the distance monitored by ball tracking technology.
Among the other confirmed laws:
- Seven rolling substitutes
- Quick throws replace line outs
- No touch kicking – tap penalties / free kick
- Kick-offs replaced by tap restarts on 5m line
- Three-person scrums, with hooking but no pushing
“The RugbyX laws have been developed with the objective of encouraging simple, fast and skilful gameplay with minimal stoppages, whilst retaining the core fundamentals of the game we love,” said RugbyX Technical Director Ben Ryan.
Former England winger Ugo Monye, co-host of the Rugby Union Weekly podcast, believes the ‘one on one’ is a dramatic and revolutionary way of deciding a game.
The attacker will start with the ball 30 metres from the line, while the defender will begin 5 metres out, with a 10 second time limit.
“As a defender it’s a nightmare, but as an attacker the pressure is on you to score,” he said. “I would love to see someone like [Springbok wing] Cheslin Kolbe doing it.
“For me, RugbyX is a simplified and condensed version which cherry-picks the best bits of what rugby is.”
Swindon moved up to fourth in League Two following a well-deserved victory over Leyton Orient at Brisbane Road.
Keshi Anderson put the visitors ahead in the 23rd minute. The 24-year-old was fouled and sent his free-kick into the wall but reacted quickest to pounce on the loose ball and curl into the far corner past Dean Brill.
Richie Wellens’ men continued to maraud forward and their attacking intent paid dividends again two minutes before the break, with Rob Hunt’s audacious side-foot from the corner of the box taking a telling deflection off Orient left-back Joe Widdowson and flying past a surprised Brill.
The game was then over in first-half stoppage time when Lloyd Isgrove provided his sixth assist of the league season.
The former Southampton winger darted through the centre of the pitch before laying off to Jerry Yates, who cut onto his right foot before finishing with aplomb.
Jordan Maguire-Drew curled home brilliantly from 20 yards to give Orient hope with 16 minutes of normal time left but Swindon held on to send their fans home happy.
Report supplied by PA Media
Fulham have agreed a deal to sign Chelsea defender Michael Hector in January 2020 for an undisclosed fee.
The 27-year-old has not made a senior appearance for the Blues since joining the Premier League club from Reading in September 2015.
He has subsequently spent time back on loan with the Royals and has had stints with German side Eintracht Frankfurt, Hull City and Sheffield Wednesday.
Hector has signed a contract with the Whites until the summer of 2022.
The west London club have the option to extend the Jamaica international’s stay at Craven Cottage by a further 12 months.
Hector will begin training with Fulham immediately ahead of his move.
“Although Michael can’t officially join until January, what’s important is he’s now a member of Fulham,” vice chairman and director of football operations Tony Khan told the club website.
“Michael will help us challenge for promotion and make us better in the second half of the season at a time when depth, experience and quality will be at a premium in the Championship.”
Find all the latest football transfers on our dedicated page.
A murder inquiry has begun after a child died following reports they had gone into cardiac arrest.
A man and woman, both 29, have been detained in connection with the child’s death in Putney, south-west London.
Met Police officers were called to a residential address early last Tuesday, just over an hour before the 15-month-old died in hospital.
A post-mortem examination was carried out at Great Ormond Street Hospital on Friday and further tests are due.
However, police confirmed the death was being treated as suspicious and the family has been made aware of developments.
The suspects have both been bailed, the man to a date early this month and the woman to date in late September.
Some flights to and from the UK are facing delays and cancellations due to problems affecting French airspace.
British Airways said the problems had caused disruption to flights heading to, or passing over, France and Spain.
EasyJet said it has been forced to cancel 180 flights out of just under 2,000 scheduled to take off on Sunday.
The French aviation regulator said the problems followed a “computer failure” at approximately 01:30 BST on Sunday, which has now been resolved.
It added that delays “should be reduced gradually throughout the day.”
National Air Traffic Services (Nats) said it does not know how many flights have been affected but it is working with airlines in the UK to try to minimise disruption.
It added that French authorities had been allowing extra flights to enter the country’s airspace on Sunday afternoon to try to limit knock-on delays.
Gatwick Airport said passengers should check with airlines on the status of their flights before heading to the airport.
British Airways said an air traffic control “outage” had hit flights going through French and Spanish airspace.
It has not confirmed how many of its flights have been affected, but BA has been contacting some customers to advise them to rebook their journeys.
EasyJet said it had contacted affected passengers directly and given the option of transferring their flight for free or receiving a refund, it said.
The airline added it was seeing significant delays and recommended all its passengers, regardless of their destination, check the status of their flight using its online “flight tracker” tool for real time information before going to the airport.
British Airways also urged customers to check the status of their flights online and said it expects disruption to services to France and Spain, as well as those which fly over these countries on the way to other destinations.
Some passengers told the BBC their British Airways flights had been cancelled.
The airline said it would not release any cancellation figures but added any affected customers had been notified directly.
It said it would offer flexible rebooking options for anyone who wants to change their dates of travel as a result of the disruption.
Ryanair advised customers on its website there had been a “serious French ATC [air traffic control] equipment failure” early on Sunday morning.
It said delays of “up to three hours are being suffered”.
Travel expert Simon Calder said: “France is absolutely at the heart of European air traffic control – some 60% of all EasyJet flights to anywhere go over French territory.
“This appears to be some kind of malfunction which has greatly reduced the flow rate [of flights] so there’s reports of pilots in Lisbon, for example, trying to get to the UK telling passengers we could be five hours late.”
He said affected passengers will not be eligible for compensation, explaining: “It’s not the airlines’ fault.”
But he said the airlines have a strict duty of care, which means they must provide meals and if necessary accommodation to passengers.
He added: “They also have to rebook you on the first available flight, ideally on the same day, even if it means paying money to a rival to get you home.”
The disruption is having a wider knock-on effect in the UK, with some flights from Scotland to England cancelled.
Richard Martin was due to fly from Edinburgh to London Stansted when EasyJet texted to say his flight had been cancelled.
“We are booked on another flight tomorrow but I’m due to be back at work,” he said.
“The queues at the airport and everything are crazy and we’ve had some family members say something similar has also happened to them.”
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Up to 100 residents are being forced out of their homes for up to three years due to “potentially combustible insulation”.
Residents of the award-winning Bridport House in London have been told they will have to re-locate within 12 months due to “serious” structural errors.
Hackney Council confirmed legal action will be taken against Willmott Partnership Homes, who built the block.
One resident said: “It’s disgusting the way we’ve all been treated.”
The resident, who did not want to be named, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “We’ve all lived here for years, and you don’t want to be moving out and moving back in again.”
Pauline Millgate, another resident, said she was “annoyed” about how the council have handled the property.
She said: “We’ve been here for eight years and we’ve had nothing but ongoing problems with leaks, holes in the roofs and holes in the floor.”
Michael Jones said he felt “like a prisoner” in his own home.
“The scaffold has been up for nearly 18 months and we’ve been told we can’t go out on the balcony,” he said.
The 41 families living in the property will be offered another temporary or permanent home in the borough while the work is carried out, but they could be displaced for up to three years.
Families moving permanently are to be offered a one-off home loss payment of £6,300 alongside other financial incentives.
Bridport House on the Colville Estate won awards awards for design and engineering when it opened in 2011.
Since then the building has suffered a litany of problems including falling roof tiles, crumbling bricks and flooding.
Investigations have now revealed more serious defects including missing fire barriers and flawed brickwork, balconies and windows.
Heat insulation was found to be “a combustible material”, but cannot be tested.
Hackney Council claimed the London Fire Brigade had concluded the building remained safe for residents, but the brigade has denied this.
The council will now open a procurement process for the £6m repair works.
Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville said: “We are sorry for the failures in the construction of Bridport House, and for the huge disruption residents continue to face.
“Moving residents from homes we all hoped would be new and permanent is not an easy decision, but our first priority is their safety.
“We will be taking legal action to hold those responsible for these failures to account. We also should have done a better job.”
Willmott Partnership Homes said it was “disappointed at the way the problems at Bridport House have been portrayed by Hackney Council”.
The builders said they could not comment fully “in view of the threat of legal action”.
A spokesman said: “This is an extremely complicated matter, significantly exacerbated by various aspects of the Building Regulations recently being reinterpreted following the Grenfell tragedy.
“We too want to say how sorry we are that matters have turned out in this way, and of course for the concern this will have caused to the residents at Bridport House.”
|US Open 2019|
|Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 26 Aug – 8 Sep|
|Coverage: Live text and BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra commentary on selected matches on the BBC Sport website and app. Click here for Live Guide.|
Johanna Konta and Dan Evans – Britain’s remaining players in the US Open singles – face first-time opponents in the second round on Wednesday.
British number one Konta faces Margarita Gasparyan, although the scheduled 16:00 BST start was delayed by rain with no play on the outside courts before 17:30.
British men’s number two Evans plays world number 27 Lucas Pouille.
Defending men’s champion Novak Djokovic is up against Juan Ignacio Londero.
Before that five-time champion Roger Federer, who last won the title in 2008, plays Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Damir Dzumhur in one of the two early matches inside Arthur Ashe Stadium. The other match sees women’s third seed and 2016 finalist Karolina Pliskova take on Georgia’s Mariam Bolkvadze.
Serena Williams, a six-time champion and last year’s runner-up, is last up on the main court where she faces fellow American Catherine McNally.
After her first-round win over Maria Sharapova, Williams, 37, revealed she had been tweaking her game in the build-up to this tournament.
“I’ve been working on a lot of new things,” she said. “I don’t really talk about what I’ve been working on so much. I definitely have been working on a lot of new stuff to incorporate in my game.”
Other highlights on day three include two Louis Armstrong Stadium matches – fifth seed Elina Svitolina against two-time champion Venus Williams, and French Open champion Ashleigh Barty facing world number 73 Lauren Davis.
In a quiet corner of London, one of India’s most venerated “founding fathers” continues to leave his mark.
The city’s affluent Primrose Hill neighbourhood has been home to generations of celebrities, from model Kate Moss to actor Daniel Craig.
But hundreds of visitors – including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi – have flocked from around the world to one particular townhouse.
“Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, Indian Crusader of Social Justice lived here 1921-22,” proclaims a blue plaque outside the house.
Step through its doors, past a bust of Dr Ambedkar draped in garlands, and guests can see rooms reconstructed in his memory, with legal documents strewn across a dining room table. His glasses lie next to dog-eared books on the bedside table.
But there’s a problem: two neighbouring residents are opposed to the museum which, according to the local council, should not exist.
Next month, the fate of the house will be decided at a council hearing. Its owners could be forced to convert it back into a residential property and close its doors to visitors, diluting the legacy of a man whose influence still reverberates in India to this day.
Known as Ambedkar House, the building was bought by the government of Maharashtra, a state in western India, for more than £3m ($3.65m) in 2015.
Since its inauguration by Prime Minister Modi in 2015, it has operated as a free-to-visit attraction, dedicated to Dr Ambedkar, who is known as the architect of India’s constitution.
The home has attracted hundreds of guests, and three neighbours told the BBC that, during this time, visitors came and went without any disturbances. One resident, who lived across the road, said they did not even know it existed.
But in January 2018, Ambedkar House was reported to Camden Council for a planning breach, and the council found that the building did not have permission to operate as a museum.
In February 2018, the property’s owners retrospectively applied for permission to use the building as a museum. But in October 2018, the council rejected the claim, arguing that it would amount to an “unacceptable loss” of residential space.
Two residents have also complained to the council, in north-west London, about alleged disturbances caused by “coach loads” of visitors making “noise day and night”.
The government of Maharashtra has appealed the decision and a public inquiry is scheduled for 24 September.
Maharashtra’s government refused to comment on the case. But in a statement to the BBC, India’s High Commission – its embassy in the UK – said the property “holds a special significance for a huge section of Indians”. It said a planning application was submitted to Camden Council to convert the house into a memorial.
Dr Ambedkar – a Maharashtra native who died in 1956 – was a legal scholar, a passionate civil rights activist and the man tasked with drafting the country’s constitution after its independence in 1947. He was also India’s first law minister.
He was born a Dalit – the so-called “untouchables” of India’s caste system – and became the most important and revered political leader for the community, which has faced social and economic discrimination for centuries.
He fought for women’s rights, an end to caste discrimination, and reserving jobs in government and schools for disadvantaged groups. He is widely regarded as one of India’s greatest political leaders.
Before his his political career, Dr Ambedkar briefly lived in Primrose Hill, from 1921-22, while studying for a doctorate degree in economics at the London School of Economics.
That’s why, at the suggestion of the Federation of Ambedkarite and Buddhist Organisations (FABO), the government of Maharashtra bought the property in 2015.
When the house came up for sale, former UK civil servant Santosh Dass, who lives in Hounslow, west London, convinced the state to buy it.
She told the BBC that the property was in a dilapidated state at the time, and said the renovation work had given the home, and the community, a new lease of life.
“We’ve done the neighbourhood a favour,” said Ms Dass, president of the FABO.
She said that discussions had been held about getting permission to turn the house into a formal museum, but organisers “underestimated how much time the whole thing would take”.
“We really want it to be a proper memorial so people can come and visit,” said Ms Dass. “Some people see it as a pilgrimage.”
About 50 people are estimated to visit Ambedkar House every week, including enthusiasts who travel from far away. Outside the building, one family told the BBC they had travelled from India to visit the home, which was top of their sight-seeing agenda in London.
C Gautam, a FABO committee member, was sanguine about the future of the property as a museum because “eminent people support us”.
A letter in support of the museum has been written to the borough council by Lord Richard Harries, a former bishop of Oxford. Some neighbouring residents, however, do not share his enthusiasm.
One local resident, who did not wish to be named, told the BBC: “It’s supposed to be residential, not a museum.”
The resident claimed that Ambedkar House “went ahead with the renovations without permission”, adding that “crowds of people come here now”.
During Camden’s public consultation, one resident also complained that visitors “arrive in coach loads taking photos and making noise”.
Bonnie Dobson, who lives on King Henry’s Road, told the BBC she considered the objections “puzzling and upsetting”. The 78-year-old Canadian folk singer said she had lived in Primrose Hill since 1969 and made a concerted effort to know her neighbours.
“To the best of my knowledge, no one has ever been disturbed by the fact that the house is now a little museum,” she said.
Ms Dobson said she liked the idea that tourists were coming to see Ambedkar House but disputed ever seeing “coach loads” of visitors. “If there were coaches coming up and down my road I’d know it,” she added.
Regardless of what residents think, it is Camden Council’s Planning Inspectorate that will have the final say.
If Ambedkar House lost the appeal, its owners “would be required to return the property to its lawful use as residential”, a council spokeswoman told the BBC.
In a report on the planning application, the council said the conversion of the building into a museum was, in theory, permissible. However, it was the loss of residential space that breached policy and led to the rejection, the council said.
“In terms of balancing the loss of residential floor space against the cultural benefits, there is nothing to suggest that an alternative site could not be found,” the council said.
Mr Gautam insisted that most neighbours had been supportive of Ambedkar House.
“They tell us that some of their relatives remember when Ambedkar lived there 100 years ago,” he told the BBC. “So they seem really happy that a unique thing is happening here.”
Inside the building, a quote from Dr Ambedkar is printed on one of the walls. “Democracy is essentially an attitude of reverence towards our fellow men,” the quote reads.
The council’s reverence for Ambedkar House, it seems, remains an open question.