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Relief after Ramadan rest policy ditched at Newport Primary School in Leyton
A Parent who claims her daughter was prevented from fasting during the holy month of Ramadan because a school insisted children must rest at home during the day has spoken of her relief after the policy was dropped.
Newport Primary School in Newport Road, Leyton, initially said fasting children must take a break during the school day and be picked up by a parent.
But some Muslim parents were unable to collect their children because of work commitments, leaving pupils unable to observe the tradition.
The school has now decided to drop the policy.
Nusrat Siddiqui, of Lindley Road in Leyton, is still concerned the policy was introduced in the first place.
She said: “I emailed the senior head at the school to let her know that I was not happy with the decision. They’re reply was that they had advice from the public health body,” she said.
“Ramadan is the most important part of the Islamic calendar, it is very important for Muslims.
“Fasting is something that we teach our children from a very young age – it is not just going without food and water it is about will power and being in control of yourself.”
The school has not commented on the issue but the council said it was following advice from the body Public Health England, but changed its mind following media coverage.
Mrs Siddiqui added: “That is all I wanted.
“We were not aggressive and we did not stand at the school with placards. I just wanted the school to communicate with parents properly.
“The letter that was sent out from the head and the chair of governors basically said that only a few parents had complained but they were distracting them from their focus.”
In the letter parents, headteacher Prue Barnes said: “Although the volume of communication has been from significantly few parents it is now interfering with the daily management of the school and detracting from our focus, which is the education of all children at Newport.”
The school announced its decision after being contacted by Sejal Asar from the BBC Asian network.
A proposal to merge the management of Newport Primary with Dawlish Primary in Jesse Road is currently being considered.
A public consultation will end on July 20.
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