Maisy Byrne, aged nine

Day out with Kids Woodhall England


A school's decision to close early on the day of the England vs. Wales tournament on June 16 has been criticised by parents who believe it sends the wrong message to their children

Many parents claimed that the decision is hypocritical, considering that they have to pay a fine when they want to take their kids out of school for a holiday.

The letter from the school reads: 'We understand that the country will no doubt grind to a standstill at that time and that many families would want to watch the game together.

'Consequently, we propose to close at 1.30pm that day for those students who have been given permission to leave but will screen the game in the Main Hall for those pupils for whom going early that day is not possible.'

The letter goes on to explain that the Year 9 English exam is to be rescheduled - to which one disgruntled woman, Donna Pullum, responded: 'We [are showing] the kids that the exams must now fit in around the footie! Wow.'

Many parents have also claimed that the decision, made by Hall Mead School in Upminster, Essex (pictured), is hypocritical, considering that they have to pay a fine when they want to take their kids out of school for a holiday

Sue Mathers wrote: 'That is absolutely appalling. Rescheduling the English exam too! Unbelievable, ' and Anne Mason Humphrey added 'So football is more important than the education of a child...hmmm.'

And Theresa Bates said: 'They cannot fine you for going away on holiday out of term time and then do this.

'It used to annoy me that my girls' school would shut at a drop of the hat, weather-wise. What happens in the amazing event that England do well in the tournament - more school closure?'

The letter goes on to explain that the Year 9 English exam is to be rescheduled - to which one disgruntled woman, Donna Pullum, responded: 'We [are showing] the kids that the exams must now fit in around the footie! Wow'

However, other parents were far less critical of the school's decision, and some even applauded it.

Personally I think it's great, rather than lots of children suddenly having dentist and doctors' appointments or bunking off!

'It's a year 9 exam that's being rescheduled for another day, ' wrote one Nicola Edney Portway. 'Better than children not concentrating and trying to look at their phones for the score.

'Personally I think it's great, rather than lots of children suddenly having dentist and doctors' appointments or bunking off!'

And Elise Marling wrote: 'I disagree with the majority on here. I think it's a great thing for the school to do, it's only a couple of hours so you can hardly compare it to a child being taken out of school for a week's holiday.

'The kids will love watching the match together in the hall or seeing it at home with family.

However, other parents were far less critical of the school's decision, and some even applauded it

'[I'm truly amazed that people think it is "disgusting" and are "livid"!'

In response to the backlash, principle Simon London told FEMAIL: 'School is not just an exam factory and we place a high value on the importance of shared experiences.

'When you think back to your school days that's generally what you remember, for example school trips or unusual days that weren't part of the normal curriculum.

We believe in fun as much as we believe in education - and this decision is in keeping with our ethos and culture

'The attendance of the school is excellent and the pupils are lovely and work really hard. So this is a message to them to say we recognise their hard work and believe they deserve a reward, if their parents consent.

'For those who aren't going to go home and don't want to watch the football, we have arranged a space where they can revise or do something else, and there will be a number of staff more than happy to oversee that.

'We believe in fun as much as we believe in education - and this decision is in keeping with our ethos and culture. It's also a good lesson to learn to be flexible.'

'In a school of 1, 000 pupils I have only had two parents contact me to say they are not happy with this.'

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