A parent has commended a school for listening to his concerns when pupils were believed to have been told off for ‘flying Palestinian flags’.

The parent of a pupil at Blackburn Central High School (BCHS) said he was happy the ‘school has carried out a thorough investigation and implemented staff training to give teachers a greater level of understanding and awareness.’

The school also clarified their position and said school policy had been ‘applied evenly’ and wanted to reassure everyone ‘that the school has acted in a fair and reasonable way’.

Demonstrations have taken place across the world to highlight the plight of the Palestinians who had suffered bombardment from Israeli firepower this month.

Parent Shafiq Khan: “I would like to thank the headteacher at BCHS Blackburn for dealing with my concerns without delay and in an effective manner.

“My daughter, who was not directly involved but attends the school, made me aware of the events which took place the previous week at the school in regards to ‘express yourself day’ and those children who were expressing their support for the Palestinian people.”

Mr Khan said he was invited to the school and said where ‘constructive and amicable discussions' about the alleged incidents took place.

He said: “As a parent I am satisfied with the school’s overall handling of the matter and there are lessons to be learnt for all. The school has carried out a thorough investigation and implemented staff training to give teachers a greater level of understanding and awareness.”

Headteacher Shanaz Hussain said: “As part of the school’s ‘Express Yourself day’ ahead of the Eid celebrations we invited pupils to come in on Wednesday wearing clothing that represented them.

“As a diverse school with 55 different languages spoken and 35 different flags displayed in school to represent our students’ nationalities, we acknowledge that flags are powerful symbols which can evoke intense reactions.

“The student became upset when asked to remove the Palestinian flag and subsequently the school flag display was damaged.

“We met with the student and their parent to discuss the matter. “We reiterated the house rules for the day, our policy around flags/banners and reassured them that our policy around flags being brought into school is policy that is applied evenly.

“We acknowledge the right to protest is a civil liberty which in the United Kingdom we all enjoy, one that was hard fought for and which not everyone in the world is fortunate to have.”

Mrs Hussain said the school admired ‘students hugely for expressing themselves but it ‘cannot accept school rules being broken and school property being damaged’.

She added: “Our students are bright, courageous, intelligent young people, passionate about the things that matter to them and acutely attuned to injustice.

“We are a caring school recognised for the work we do in the community around inclusion. We actively listen to our students and the wider community to ensure they grow to navigate the world safely and healthily.

“I hope that this reassures everyone that the school has acted in a fair and reasonable way.

She said: “We thank our students, parents and community for all their ongoing support to make this school the wonderful place that it is.”

“We are getting students involved in projects to develop understanding of the situation in Palestine and to be part of assemblies and lessons about it. Staff dealt with the matter decisively and in-line with our conduct policy.”

Mr Khan added: “I would encourage any parent with problems regarding the Palestine flag issue to contact their respective school and it is more than likely the school will listen and take the appropriate measures to address.

“Many parents do not feel they can engage with schools on this or other matters, therefore it’s important all schools create an environment whereby parents feel they are able to communicate their issues to the school.”