Falkirk Council bans parents from school nativity plays - and trips are also barred

Upset parents have criticised a council ban on them attending school nativity plays and festive concerts.

Monday, 22nd November 2021, 4:45 pm

Falkirk Council has also cancelled all school trips in the run up to Christmas.

Mums and dads are angry that while other events are taking place, such as pantomimes, football and rugby matches, as well as nightclubs opening up again, they are missing out on “precious memories”.

Education chiefs said the move was to safeguard staff and pupils, as well as keeping communities safe.

Parents are disappointed that they will not be able to see their children in school nativity plays

But one mum who has launched a petition urging the council to change its mind said it was totally unfair on both parents and children.

Debbie Sneddon’s five-year-old son Cameron has been busy rehearsing for his role as a shepherd along with classmates in P1 at Kinnaird Primary School.

On November 4 parents were told that they would have an opportunity to watch their little ones in the nativity play in the school hall on December 2.

However, on Thursday they were messaged and told that Falkirk Council had confirmed there were to be no in-school performances.

The message stated: “However, the show must go on. Our P1 pupils and teachers are still hard at work perfecting their performances which will now be shared with you via YouTube video.”

But Debbie and other parents feel this is yet another milestone they are missing out on their children’s young lives.

She said: “We didn’t get to take our children into the classroom on their first day at school. Instead we had to leave them at the gate.

"I was lucky that Cameron was happy to go in but there were other children who were crying and their parents couldn’t go in with them.

"We are missing so many precious memories."

Debbie added that she felt the change in policy was ridiculous as people are being encouraged to buy tickets for the professional pantomime in Falkirk Town Hall yet couldn’t watch their own children in a nativity.

She said: “I work in a dental practice, I’m double jagged and I know all the protocols to follow.

"Everyone I’ve spoke to said that they would be happy to wear a mask and the hall at Kinnaird is large enough to accommodate everyone safely.

"I was at the Scotland v South Africa rugby match in Murrayfield recently with 67,000 other people but I can’t go to a school event?

"It’s also a huge disappointment for all the children who have worked so hard.”

A spokesperson for Falkirk Council said: “Keeping our schools open is our top priority, and we must do all we can to try and limit the spread of Covid-19 in our school to help our communities remain as safe as possible over the festive period.

"Unfortunately, this means we have had to cancel in-person school events and trips in the run up to the Christmas holidays.

"This decision was not taken lightly, but having reviewed the current national guidance, and following discussions with Trade Unions, health and safety colleagues and senior officials across the Council, it was felt the best and safest decision to take at this time.”

View Debbie’s petition here

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