A school has backtracked on its ban of cornrows after criticisms spread across social media.

St John’s Senior School, The Ridgeway, Enfield, has decided to reverse its cornrows ban on September 13, a day after issuing a letter to parents explaining their strict rules of cornrows.

The initial letter outlined the rules of the school to ensure that “every child looks neat, tidy and presentable.”

The letter continued: “Fashion constantly changes but we firmly believe that these are things for outside of school not inside.”

The letter explained that hair extensions are not acceptable in the school, listing exceptions of hairstyles where extensions would be acceptable for this term. Among the list, it stated that cornrows or knotted braids will not be permitted.

Extensions with knotless braids or single plaits, thin to medium, with natural hair colours were however accepted in the list. The letter stated that all extensions must be tied in a ponytail and hair must be no longer than shoulder length.

It was suggested that by the end of the term, the school would evaluate which individual hairstyles are acceptable or not.

The letter gained the attention of several social media users online after one Twitter user @BeeBabs posted a photo of the letter. In a thread of tweets, she says that she is hurt that young black girls “are told to suppress themselves.”

On September 13, the school released a statement saying: “The approach reflected in our letter was to be on a trial basis. However, in light of concerns raised by a number of parents and pupils following receipt, 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.”

The school has since reversed the rules issued on September 12, with the exception of the rule that hair must be worn no longer than shoulder length.

Another user on Twitter said that while they were glad it was reversed, they questioned why it happened in the first place: