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Muslim family outraged after school REFUSES to let daughter have day off to celebrate major religious holiday

20:40 28 September 2015 Author :   The Staff

The school is closed the day after Eid and the head said pupils should celebrate the festival that day instead

An outraged mother had been left fuming at her daughter's school after it refused to let her have the day off to celebrate an important religious holiday.

The girl, who does not want to be named, has been told by Outwood Academy in Acklam in Middlesbrough that she and the other Muslim schoolchildren will not be allowed this Thursday off to mark Eid.

Instead, the children will be off on Friday - a Professional Development (PD) Day for the teachers, meaning all schoolchildren will not be required at school.

"Friday doesn't mean anything," the girl's mum told the 

"Eid is on Thursday."

Eid al-Adha, known as Greater Eid or the Feast of the Sacrifice, is the second of two major Eid Muslim holidays.

Similar to Christmas, on the day Muslims will give presents, get together with family and friends, and cook up a feast to mark the holiday.

"It is a big deal," said the mum, who lives with her family in Linthorpe.

"They normally have it off no problem - my son is being given the day off by Linthorpe Primary.

"But on Tuesday I got a letter from Outwood to say that this won't be happening this year.

"Instead all the children will be off on Friday due to a PD Day.

"I was shocked to get the letter so I rang the school straight away.

Acklam's Outwood Academy's letter

"I spoke to the head of year who said this was what they had decided to do this year.

"I asked to speak to the principal but was told he was too busy at the time."

She added: "There will be a lot of children at the school affected by this.

"A lot of parents will be unhappy."

The letter reads: "I am writing to you to confirm our position regarding Eid.

"As an academy we recognise the celebration of religious occasions and the importance of Eid in the Muslim calendar.

"For this reason we allow all students who are registered as Muslim one day authorised absence to celebrate this important occasion.

"A PD day has been scheduled for Friday 25 September 2015, during which the academy will be closed to students.

"This has been planned to coincide with Eid.

"It is on this day that students will be allowed authorised absence, but with the expectation that they attend the academy throughout the preceding days of the week.

"If a student takes more than one day's leave from the academy this will be an unauthorised absence and if the attendance of your child falls below 90% it could result in a fixed penalty notice being issues."

But the mum said: "She is definitely not going in on Thursday and I am not having it put down as unauthorised absence."

Mark Hassack, principal of the school, said: "The academy has five training days per year for staff development; one of these is Friday, September 25.

"Other than this the academy follows the Middlesbrough pattern of school term and holiday dates."

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