Christmas axed in schools as parents moan about ‘another childhood rite lost’

A local council has demanded that school Christmas lunches be cancelled in all schools because it claims there aren't enough staff available to run the traditional event.

Bridgend Council in Wales has admitted it expected take up among pupils would be high for Christmas lunch but it can’t go ahead, Wales Online reports.

A council spokesman said: “Unfortunately, due to limited staffing available to the local authority to support the likely increased take-up of the offer of a Christmas lunch, there will be no dedicated Christmas lunches provided in schools. However, some food will have a ‘festive theme’.”

And, while the main Welsh Government is letting schools decide what to do based on local risk assessments, many local councils have taken their own route – with many advising that Christmas carol concerts take place virtually instead.

Merthyr Council has requested that no parents enter the school for concerts, while Carmarthenshire Council has “strongly discouraged” both indoor and outdoor concerts.

Both Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Powys Council has called for school they run to hold virtual performances, too.

Parents are not happy about the planned cancellations.

Speaking to Wales Online, Faye Mortlock, who has four children of primary school age, said: “Our primary have decided that we can’t go and watch again this year.

“My daughter is heartbroken I can’t watch again, it’s her last infant concert.

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“Another childhood rite of passage that she’s missed.

“I’m so sad though because our school was always so proactive and keen for the return to normal prior to the summer.”

The Welsh government website states: “Any events – such as concerts, fairs and visits – should be risk assessed, with consideration given to additional risks and control measures to be put in place.

“Where appropriate, information on the relevant arrangements should be communicated to those attending or taking part in these events in advance.”

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