Teacher sacked after Muslim prayer lesson

A teacher who was accused by parents of forcing pupils to pray to Allah during a religious education lesson has been fired.

Alison Phillips was suspended last July after parents claimed she had given detentions to two pupils who refused to take part in the lesson at Alsager School, near Stoke-on-Trent.

They said the pupils were told to wear Muslim headgear and bend down on their knees on prayer mats provided by the teacher.

Following a lengthy investigation the school concluded that the accusations were inaccurate, and said the lesson had contained “acceptable” role play activities.

However, a statement released by Cheshire East Council on the school’s behalf said: “After full consideration of a range of other professional issues, the governing body was satisfied that an irretrievable breakdown in the relationship between employer and employee had occurred and that the employee should be dismissed from her post.”

At the time of the complaints, one parent, Sharon Luinen, said: “This isn’t right, it’s taking things too far.

“I understand that they have to learn about other religions. I can live with that but it is taking it a step too far to be punished because they wouldn’t join in Muslim prayer.

“Making them pray to Allah, who isn’t who they worship, is wrong and what got me is that they were told they were being disrespectful.

“I don’t want this to look as if I have a problem with the school because I am generally very happy with it.”

Another parent Karen Williams said: “I am absolutely furious my daughter was made to take part in it and I don’t find it acceptable.”

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