A SCHOOL cancelled its Christmas performances to make way for Eid.
A letter was sent to parents of children at Greenwood Junior School, Sneinton, on Monday.
But following complaints from parents, a second letter was sent apologising and explaining that the performances would be staged in the new year. The school has not said what the performance involved but parents described it as a nativity play.
Eid ul-Adha, or the Festival of Sacrifice, is a religious festival celebrated by Muslims. Former Greenwood Junior pupil and St Ann's mum Janette Lynch, whose seven-year-old son Keanu attends the school, said: "The head has a whole year to plan for Eid and so she should be able to plan for both religious festivals.
"I have never heard of this at a school. It is the first year my son has been there and a lot of the mums like me were really looking forward to seeing the children in the nativity. I think it's wrong it has been moved to after Christmas."
The first letter, sent from 'The staff at Greenwood Junior School', said: "It is with much regret that we have had to cancel this year's Christmas performances. This is due to the Eid celebrations that take place next week and its effect on our performers."The follow-up letter, sent by head teacher Amber Latif and Yvonne Wright, chair of governors, said: "I would like to apologise for any misunderstanding that was caused from the letter that went out last night.
"We are a very inclusive school and fully respect the cultures and religions of all the children. "We are upset to know that some of our parents/carers have been offended by the letter.
"The Christmas performance has not been cancelled outright but has been postponed until the New Year."Parents and carers were originally told the performance was cancelled because children wanted to celebrate Eid with their families at home, and planning of the school year made it "difficult to move performance dates to another week".
The school has also sent out a timetable of events to mark Eid ul-Adha, or 'greater Eid', which is the second of the two Eid festivals. It lasts for two or three days and starts on Monday or Tuesday next week.
Muslim children will be off school for the religious holiday.
Sajad Hussain, 35, of Sneinton, who has two children at Greenwood Junior, said: "My children will be off for the two days next week to see their family.
"It's not that complicated; they could have one event on one day and another on another day, they should have both celebrations at the school.
"If you do not have both it becomes a racist thing and that's why you have to be careful – if an issue is made out of it it could become nasty."
The school has an above average percentage of ethnic minority pupils.
Yesterday, a statement issued by Greenwood Junior, said: "We would like to apologise for any confusion caused as a result of [the original] letter we sent out and would like to reassure parents and the community that Christmas has not been cancelled at Greenwood Junior School. (I think it has. It is postponed--being celebrated in the NEW YEAR--being PUSHED ASIDE--to make way for a MUSLIM celebration to have PRECEDENCE over all other religious observances)
"As a multi-faith school, like many schools in Nottingham City, we represent a wide variety of faiths and due respect is given to each one appropriately.
"For very practical reasons we have taken the difficult decision to re-arrange some significant events on the school calendar to ensure maximum pupil and staff attendance.
"The next two weeks are brimming with festivities for both Eid and Christmas that the children are really looking forward to."