School refuses to give Muslim pupils day off on religious holiday of Eid al-Adha

The religious festival is celebrated by Muslims worldwide and marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A school has refused to let its Muslim pupils take today off to celebrate Eid al-Adha, saying they should mark the religious holiday tomorrow instead.

Acklam’s Outwood Academy, in Middlesbrough, has said its Muslim pupils will not be granted an authorised absence, but can celebrate tomorrow when the school will be closed to all pupils as part of a professional development day for its teachers, the Teeside Gazette reports

One outraged mother said she immediately contacted the school after receiving a letter explaining its stance on Monday, but said staff did not change their minds.

The mother of the schoolgirl, neither of whom wished to be named, told the newspaper: “Friday doesn’t mean anything. Eid is on Thursday.

“They normally have it off no problem – my son is being given the day off by Linthorpe Primary.

“A lot of parents will be unhappy.”


Eid al-Adha, also called the Sacrifice Feast, is one of the two major religious holidays celebrated by Muslims across the world.

It honours the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son, following God’s command, and marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca, in Saudi Arabia.

Muslims mark the day through prayers, by exchanging gifts and enjoying a feast with family and friends.

The letter sent by the Academy to parents said: “We allow all students who are registered as Muslim, one day authorised absence to celebrate this important occasion.

“A PD day has been scheduled for Friday 25 September 2015, during which the Academy will be closed to students.  This has been planned to coincide with Eid.

“It is on this day that students will be allowed authorised absence.”

The angry mother told the Teeside Gazette that her daughter would not be attending the school today and that she would not accept having this marked as an unauthorised absence.