Parents are outraged after a Newham school gave just three days notice they would be closed so that Muslim staff can celebrate Eid.
Religious leaders only announced the date of the Islamic festival ten days ago, so Chobham Academy received a sudden influx of requests from Muslim teachers for the day off.
As a result, the East London school shut its doors to nursery, reception, Year One, and Year Two pupils.
Headteacher Mark Elms offered his “sincerest apologies” for the closure, which meant families had just days to find childcare or seek other working arrangements.
One mother called the lack of notice given by the school “outrageous”. She told The Sun: “I got a text out of the blue at about 11am on Friday saying the school would be closed on Monday but it didn’t explain why.
“Then they sent the kids home with a letter from the head saying it was because a lot of teachers had suddenly asked for the day off.
“I wouldn’t be able to do that in my job. It’s very disruptive.”
Pedro Martin, a Spanish teacher and freelance tutor whose two sons attend Chobham Academy, said working parents “are being penalised again” by the school’s move.
He told MailOnline: “I had to cancel my lessons today, giving my students three days notice – but we have just started one week ago, after the summer holidays.
“It’s not only the money, it’s my reputation. It is unacceptable short notice. Working parents are being penalised again.”
School principal 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.”
CAGE, an organisation which lobbies on behalf of terror suspects and Muslims under surveillance from counterterror police, was set to host an event with extremist speakers on the school’s premises last November.
Police alerted Chobham Academy about the event, at which speakers would have included the head of Hizb ut-Tahrir — a Muslim supremacist group which instructs Muslims to “harbour hatred” for British people, and a cleric who has defended female genital mutilation and stoning, just two days before it was due to take place.
The school said they had no idea the event was political in nature nor that CAGE was involved, and are understood to have thought the booking was connected to a community football team.