School gives parents three days notice before closing so staff can celebrate

first_imgThe day must be exclusively set apart for religious observance by the religious body to which the parents belong. Where necessary, schools should seek advice from the parents’ religious body about whether it has set the day apart for religious observance. Headteacher Mark Elms told parents: “Please accept my sincere apologies for the short notice which could not be helped and for the disruption to the beginning of the new academic year.”The Harris Federation, which runs the academy, said parents who were unhappy should contact them. A large inner-city school gave parents just three days’ notice it was closing to allow staff to celebrate a religious festival.Chobham Academy in Newham, east London, is partially closed on Monday due to a “high number of staff requesting leave for religious observance” for the Muslim festival Eid al-Adha. Eighteen-hundred pupils aged three to 18 attend the independent mixed academy, but families were given just days to find alternative childcare arrangements.Mark Elms, the primary principal at the school, offered parents his “sincere apologies”.Chobham has been closed to nursery, reception, Y1 and Y2 pupils, leading one father to claim parents had been “penalised”.Pedro Martin, a Spanish teacher and tutor in London, said: School closed next Monday, @chobhamacademy inform us today. Unacceptable short notice. Working parents penalised again.— Pedro Martin (@pedrojmm) September 9, 2016 Eid al-Adha falls on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the twelfth and final month in the Islamic calendar.As the exact day is based on lunar sightings, the date can vary between countries and the date of this year’s festival was only announced by religious leaders ten days ago.The Eid al-Adha prayer marks the end of the annual pilgrimage or Hajj to the holy city of Mecca. According to guidelines issued by the Department of Education, schools must treat absence as authorised when it is due to religious observance.  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more