A SCROOGE headmistress has been accused of “cancelling Christmas” after banning kids from performing in a Nativity play over “health and safety” fears.
Killyjoy Sharon Staddon left pupils and parents at Hayeswood First School stunned after pulling the curtain down on its annual festive tradition because of a fire risk.School students were left stunned after a decision to cancel their annual festive tradition[/caption] Angry parent Rebecca Loxley blasted the school’s ‘absurd’ decision[/caption]
The newly appointed head has ignored pleas from the school’s parent and teacher association – including their offer to pay for a larger venue so the show could go on.
Under hardline plans at the school in Wimborne, Dorset, kids in Reception and Year 1 will perform in front of limited crowds during a shortened lunchtime slot in early December.
The call was made despite Year 4s penning an open letter begging for the show to be put on as usual.
But their pleas were ignored and the traditional whole school performance has been scrapped.
Ms Staddon sent baffled parents a letter claiming the full-school show was cut because of “fire regulations” in the school’s assembly hall.
She even insisted that ditching the story of Jesus’ birth could lead to “positive outcomes”.
The headmistress, who has led the junior school since last year, wrote: “Unfortunately, hosting whole school performances has become unfeasible.
“I understand the importance of these events for you and your child, especially considering the missed experiences due to COVID.
“To ensure that Year R (reception) and Year 1 students have a meaningful participation, they will be performing a Nativity as advised.
“For Years 2, 3, and 4, the opportunity to showcase their talents will be deferred to the Summer term, allowing them to focus on learning during this crucial period in the school calendar.
“Recognising the stress that the holiday season can bring to children, with changing routines and potential dysregulation, we aim to alleviate this by spreading out celebratory events throughout the year.
“This approach aims to better support all children ensuring a more balanced and positive experience.”
The head went on: “Change can be challenging, but I believe that, in the long run, it can lead to positive outcomes and enhance our overall experience.”
However, Ms Staddon said the school is still “very much looking forward to celebrating Christmas” despite the decision.
“Following a recent fire inspection we are unable to hold a whole-school nativity play in the hall,” she said.
“Reception and Year 1 will perform a nativity play and all other year groups will perform in a production by the end of the school year.
“As well as the nativity play and carol singing we are having a Christmas Fayre and a Christmas jumper day.
“We are exploring solutions to address this issue.”
PARENTS SPEAK OUT
Angry parent Rebecca Loxley, who has daughter Aria, seven, and son James, five, at the school, blasted the “absurd” decision – adding it “beggars belief”.
She told The Sun: “The parents group sent her an email first thing in the morning saying we would cover the costs of another venue if it still meant the children could do the play.
“Year 4 pupils would normally be given the main parts and that’s been pulled from under their feet.
“They were really upset and wrote a letter with the help of their teacher, but it was ignored.
“There are a lot of upset parents in the same position because there was no explanation or valid excuse. We just got an email saying it wasn’t happening.
“The idea that this time of year is stressful for most children is not true at all.
“You can’t really do a Nativity in the spring or summer. It is a core memory for the kids and character building for them to learn a few lines and come together as a group.”
Other parents fumed at the news in local community groups.
Scott Carter said: “Yet again someone dictating what our kids can and cannot do. They should be sacked.”
Gary Godwin added: “I’m stunned by that. Christmas is for kids.”
Charlotte House joked: “This comes from the head who stood in front of the whole school Nativity last year and told everyone how much she loved Christmas.”
And Andine Slayford said: “Decades of kids performing a Christmas show but now it’s too much for them?
“Absolutely ridiculous but so disappointing.”
Stay-at-home mum Rebecca, 41, added: “Mrs Staddon has only been there for a year and has effectively cancelled Christmas.
“If there was no other option or no other venues I would understand, but there are plenty of alternatives.
“The village hall is £60 a session and we’d happily have paid that because it’s what all of our kids deserve.”The call was made due to a fire risk[/caption]