A mum has expressed her frustration at being banned from attending her daughter’s school nativity play in Bracknell.

Each year, Birch Hill Primary School holds a nativity play performed by pupils to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

The play is performed by Key Stage 1 children, which runs from nursery to Year 2.

But this year, parents of Year 1 pupils have been told not to attend, provoking outrage from one mum.

Charlotte, the mum of a Year 1 pupil, said: “My daughter is in Year 1 but we’ve been told by the school we aren’t allowed to go.

“When I tried to find out what the reason was, they said it was because of staff absences and worried about catching colds and flu.

“There are thousands watching the World Cup, thousands going to the Select Car Leasing Stadium, but we’re getting told we can’t watch the school nativity.

“I don’t want my daughter performing in front of other parents while I’m not there.

“When I phoned up, I was informed Year 2 parents were given priority as their children are the ones on stage, Year 1 children are only the choir.”

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She added that worries around coronavirus was another reason given for asking Year 1 parents not to attend.

According to Government coronavirus statistics, there were 34 positive cases recorded in the seven days leading up to Saturday, November 19.

On a more local level, both the Crown Wood and the Birch Hill & Hanworth East areas had less than three coronavirus cases in the same period.

Charlotte said: “That isn’t anywhere near enough to ban us from attending  in the eyes of the law, there are no restrictions.

“I can’t see any viable reason for it. It’s so frustrating.”

The school confirmed it will not be reversing its decision to ban Year 1 parents from attending the performances.

Explaining the decision, headteacher Michael Dillon said: “Pupils in the school (Nursery – Year 2 children) will be taking part in school nativities this year, as is the tradition at Christmas.

“While nursery and reception parents are able to watch their child’s performance in the school hall, unfortunately, due to a significant number of pupil and staff absences (due to COVID, flu and colds), we have had to make the very difficult decision to only allow Year 2 parents to watch the combined Year 1 and 2 nativity in school.

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“This decision has not been taken lightly and we understand the frustration that Year 1 parents will be feeling. However, it is important that we minimise the number of visitors to the school to reduce the risk of further infection to staff and pupils.

“We are looking at the possibility of recording the performance for Year 1 parents to watch at home with their child, to share the experience together.

“Next year, all current Year 1 parents and carers will get the opportunity to watch their child perform in the nativity on stage. However, this is the last opportunity for current Year 2 parents to see their child perform, as once in key stage 2, the children will no longer take part in the nativity.

“We had to make the decision quickly in order to let parents know in good time. At one point there was a possibility that there would be no performances due to the rapid increase of infections.

“I have assured parents that staff will talk to all the children and explain the reasons behind the changes and decisions made.

“My sincerest apologies to the pupils and parents affected by this decision. We as staff are also disappointed as we enjoy our parents being able to join us in school for performances.”

The school is holding three plays: a nursery performance, a reception performance and Key Stage 2 performance.

Charlotte has set up an alternative carol performance for children and parents, which is due to be attended by 85-150 people.

The alternative event will take place at Birch Hill Community Centre at 3.30pm on Thursday, December 8.