A school in Barking has apologised after a banner reading 'Ban the hijab' was spotted in its playground. 

The banner at Greatfields School in King Edward's Road sparked outrage online after footage of the message was shared to social media platforms. 

A spokesperson for the school said today (April 23) that the banner had been put up by a Year 10 student. 

They said: “The school authorities were made aware of a banner put up briefly in the school playground which has caused offence to people in and outside the school.

“The banner was put up by a Year 10 pupil as part of a conceptual art project which was meant to generate debate and was not meant to be offensive in any way.

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“This was an ill-judged decision and as soon as staff were made aware the banner was removed immediately as this was not sanctioned by the school."

The hijab refers to head coverings worn by Muslim women.

The school closed its statement by saying: “We would like to make it absolutely clear that we are an inclusive school, and this does not represent the views of the school and for this we are extremely sorry and apologise for any harm this may have caused.  

“This matter is being fully investigated by the school, and once again we would like to apologise for the hurt and offence caused.”