School’s unexpected closure for Muslim holiday angers parents
Chobham Academy, an independent mixed academy with 1,800 pupils ranging from ages three to 18, informed parents last week its nursery, reception, and Year 1 and 2 classes would not be held on Monday due to a “high number of staff requesting leave for religious observance, giving families just days to find childcare arrangements.”
“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 school’s primary principal, Mark Elms, said in a letter to parents.
The school has been accused by critics of penalizing working parents.
School closed next Monday, @chobhamacademy inform us today. Unacceptable short notice. Working parents penalised again.— Pedro Martin (@pedrojmm) September 9, 2016
“It’s outrageous that they have done this at such short notice,” one disgruntled mom told the Sun.
“We wouldn’t mind if it was included in the school calendar so we all knew well in advance that this was happening but to suddenly spring it on us just three days before is unacceptable.
“People have jobs and lives and will find it difficult to get childcare at such short notice,” added the woman, who did not want to be named.
Another parent at the school, Pedro Martin, who works as a Spanish tutor, told the MailOnline that he was forced to take time off work to look after his two sons, aged four and six.