A mother says she has been left with no choice but to keep her son off school because teachers say his hairstyle breaks stringent rules.

Louise McLoughlin was told by teachers at Hinchingbrooke School, in Huntingdon, that her son, Ben, would be kept in isolation because of two lines that had been shaved into his hair by his barber.

The school has told Ms McLoughlin that the hairstyle is at odds with its policy and added that 15-year-old Ben, who acts as a carer for his disabled mother, would be kept out of lessons until his hair grows back.

Ms McLoughlin, of Weir Close, in Buckden, says she does not want her son in isolation and therefore had no option but to keep Ben off school, despite his mock GCSE exams being just weeks away.

She said: "I think the school's hair policy is too strict, it needs to be looked at because it needs to be more definitive in its descriptions of what is, and is not, acceptable.

"Ben's hair gives him a little bit of a boost. He has to be an adult at home and having a poorly mum is quite difficult for any child.

"He should feel good about himself and it seems to me that the school have just knocked him here. I'm desperate to him back into class."

Ms McLoughlin said she agreed there should be rules in place for extreme hairstyles but said that the lines in Ben's hair were short and discreet and had been in a similar style since he was five.

It could take another week for the Year 10 pupil's hair to grow back, meaning he would have spent more a fortnight out of school.

Andrew Goulding, principal at Hinchingbrooke School, said: "Our policy simply states that hair should look natural, not be unnaturally dyed, and not be shaved because we are a place of work and we want children to look appropriate.

"We look to parents to support us in making sure their children comply with our policy and we are very pleased that the vast majority of our parents support what is a sensible policy."