The decision of a primary school in Bracknell to not allow parents of children in a particular year group to watch its nativity plays has been branded ‘crazy’ and ‘muddled’.

Recently, a mum called Charlotte from the Forest Park area of Bracknell complained that her and other parents of Year 1 children were being told not to attend Birch Hill Primary School’s nativity plays, with the school only inviting Year 2 parents to the shows.

The decision was confirmed and justified by the school’s headteacher, Michael Dillon, who said the measure had to be taken due to a significant amount and staff and pupil absence due to illnesses.

Now people and parents from Bracknell are criticising the decision on Facebook.

Sherrie May-Reeves said: “That’s crazy. Why don’t they do a ticketed event and allow 1-2 tickets max per family of both year groups?”

Similarly, Sharn Taylor said:  “I’d be absolutely fuming! No excuses! You have all the parents or none of the parents. Simple as that!”

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Meanwhile, Allan Scorer questioned who made the decision, whether it was the headteacher or the governors.

Mr Scorer said: “In either case there was some very muddled thinking.

“If they are worried about infection there should be no audience from outside the school.”

However, some people agreed with the school’s rationale.

Seeing the headteacher’s point of view, mum Emily Nicholls said: “Year 2 parent here. We were unable to go in and watch last year because of restrictions.

“This is our last opportunity to go in and watch our children take part. The current Year 1 parents will have this opportunity next year. I understand feeling a little gutted but it’s really not a massive deal.

“Those saying it’s unfair on children that will see other parents watching children but not their family….does this not happen at EVERY school show?

“Some parents are unable to get time of work so can not always go anyway so in that aspect it is no different for the child.”

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Mr Dillon, the headteacher, has defended the action taken.

He said: “Unfortunately the decision will not be reversed.  We wanted to make the decision early to minimise any disruption for parents.  We are also still experiencing a high number of absences in staff and children, due to colds, flu and COVID.

“Nursery Nativity has already taken place.  There are two Reception performances and two Y1 and Y2 combined performances this week.

“These performances are ticketed events, charged at £1.50 per ticket with tickets available from the School’s online shop”.

“The decision was made in consultation with the Senior Leadership team and the teacher in charge of Year 1 and Year 2.  Everyone agreed this was for the best, given the level of absence”.