A MOTHER claims her ten-year-old son is being bullied at school - because he has ginger hair.

Christine Caulfield said her son, Owen, who attends Joseph Locke Primary, has been called names including 'gingernut' and has been punched and kicked in the playground.

Christine, of Rowland Road, Gawber, said the bullying began in September and Owen even had his thumb broken on one occasion.

She said: "One boy kicked his hand and broke his thumb. The boy wasn't excluded and was even allowed to play football at Barnsley Football Club. I was annoyed because it seemed the headteacher was rewarding badly-behaved kids."

She said Owen was also assaulted in the playground by a boy.

The boy was given a suspension but it was wavered because his parents couldn't take the time off work.

"I know Owen's not an angel. He's ten, he's lively and he's got a big mouth but he knows where the line is," said Christine.

"He's been put into different sets and he's eating his lunch in the IT room because he doesn't want to go outside because he thinks that someone is going to hit him.

"He can't even play with his friends any more and it was him who had been assaulted. It's like they've removed Owen instead of dealing with the bullies. I don't see why he should be victimised twice."

Christine said she had seen headteacher Keith Armitage but was not satisfied with the meeting.

Mr Armitage said: "I can't comment on individual pupils, it would be very inappropriate.

"We have very high standards of behaviour and that has been recognised in all recent Ofsted reports.

"If parents have any issues or concerns then everyone at the school, including myself, will be available to deal with them and go through the usual ways to make sure bullying and any kind of disruption is identified and addressed effectively.

"Because we do have very effective behaviour policies and very high standards of behaviour, that's why we're very popular with parents."