A Blackburn school has allayed concerns staff would 'not be given time off' to celebrate Eid this week.

Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School in West Park Road, Blackburn, will permit staff to take time off to mark Eid-al-Adha this week but staff will still be asked to come into school as normal in the morning to see 'if appropriate staffing ratios have been met.'

Some Muslims will celebrate Eid on Wednesday and others on Thursday.

A number of people contacted the Lancashire Telegraph raising concerns staff had ‘been told to come into QEGS as normal on Eid day’ this week to then be sent home on unpaid leave later in the morning.

This situation has been confirmed by the school, except whether the time off will be paid or unpaid.

Others raised fears staff may face disciplinary proceedings if they did not come into school on either of the days, which the school has denied.

The school has said staff of Muslim faith will be permitted to take time off to mark the largest religious holiday in the Islamic calendar. 

Eid-al-Adha, also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, signifies the end of the annual Hajj period.

Schools give pupils time off to observe a religious celebration such as Eid. In some cases parents must fill a form in to state which day the child will be off. 

However places of work are not required to give staff a day off to mark these occasions.

In other workplaces staff often book a day's holiday or take unpaid leave, but in schools it is not always possible for staff to take leave during term-time.

QEGS will permit staff to take either Wednesday and Thursday off this week to celebrate Eid.

Following a request to clarify if staff would be allowed to take time off during Eid, a spokesperson for the school said: "We do not consider the Lancashire Telegraph will publish a factual or accurate account of the situation – we will therefore provide a full and considered response to the article on all our social media platforms."

The full statement on the school's website said: "Following an enquiry from the local press concerning school staffing arrangements during Eid we respond as follows: The school will be open on both June 28 and 29.

"For the education and safety of our children it is absolutely essential that we have the appropriate staffing ratios in all areas of the school.

"We have asked parents and carers to let the school know if they intend for their children to be absent on either June 28 or 29 to celebrate Eid and this information is being collected and will inform our decisions.

"We are hoping to be able to agree to all staff requests for absence. However, it may be the case that we will not know for certain the number of pupils and students attending school until after registration on Wednesday and Thursday morning and therefore we do need to ensure that all staff are prepared for this possibility.

"Registration takes place at 8.40am. We will then authorise staff absence quickly if appropriate staffing ratios have been met.

"We understand that some staff, unfortunately, do find this disappointing. We do recognise the importance of this celebration for our staff, but we do need to ensure the safety of the pupils and students attending our school on June 28 and 29 before we can reduce staffing on these days."

QEGS has a high percentage of pupils who hail from a Muslim background and the school has in recent years made a number of efforts to improve diversity and inclusivity at the school. 

This included hosting a special evening Iftar event which was saw staff and the headteacher fast in solidarity with parents and pupils, and providing a menu featuring halal food and an increased number of vegetarian options.