The Evening Standard reports that one of the best rated primary schools in the UK has banned girls aged under eight years old from wearing hijabs. St Stephen’s primary school, in Newham, east London, has also forbidden Muslim pupils from fasting on school days during Ramadan.
Arif Qawi, chairman of governors at St Stephen’s, which topped the Sunday Times school league tables in 2017, said the Department of Education should “step up and [take the issue] out of our hands”.
He told The Sunday Times: “We did not ban fasting altogether but we encouraged them to fast in holidays, at weekends and not on the school campus.
“Here we are responsible for their health and safety if they pass out on campus…it is not fair to us.”
Mr Qawi claimed some students were fasting when they were as young as eight years old, despite Muslim clerics typically advising they not start until they have reached puberty.
He said that, although some parents had been critical of the new rules, it had received broad approval from many Muslim parents.
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