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School bars mum from daughter's first Christmas play
A MOTHER who had been away from home and her children for three weeks while recovering from surgery wasn’t allowed to see her little girl’s first Christmas play because the school said she couldn’t take her toddler into the hall.
Natalie Sommerton missed the dress rehearsal of Durrington All Saints Infant School’s production of The Night Before Christmas at which younger siblings were welcome because she was in hospital following spinal surgery.
But she managed to get to the school last Thursday with her mother and son hoping to see the final performance of the show starring foury-ear-old Grace.
But she was told that three-year-old Joshua could not go in and if she wanted to watch Grace then she would have to leave him outside with his grandmother.
“There was no way I could have gone along to the dress rehearsal with Joshua on Monday because I was in the hospital,” said Miss Sommerton.
“It has been a difficult time for my children who have been looked after by my mother while I have been in hospital, and Grace was very excited about me seeing her Christmas show.
“She sings the songs the whole time and has been practising for weeks.
“We’d got her a costume specially and my mother, Joshua and I were really looking forward to it.”
Miss Sommerton said she explained the situation to school staff when she arrived for the performance but was told by headteacher Jo Andrews that she would not be able to stay with Joshua.
“I would have thought they could have been more understanding, especially bearing in mind the situation and the time of year,” added Miss Sommerton.
“I would have taken him out if he had caused any problems but he’s such a good, quiet boy I’m sure he would have b e e n fine. “It’s not showing much Christmas spirit.
“Grace said she didn’t want to do the play if Joshua couldn’t watch her so I took her home instead.
“Both my children were so upset and I am furious about it. Watching your child’s first Nativity play is supposed to be one of those happy memorable things for a parent but the school ruined it because of their ridiculous rules.”
A statement issued by the school said: “We’re sorry one of our parents wasn’t able to stay for the Monday performance with her younger child. We always welcome feedback from parents and we’d like to work with this mum so we can avoid this happening in the future.
“We have limited space in our hall so we arrange specific performances in order to cater for all parents’ needs and like many schools we limit the times we have babies and toddlers in the audience as it can cause disruption to little ones performing.
“We sent a few reminders to parents of the timing of Nativity performances and told them there would be one for toddlers and pre-school children to attend, which was this Monday."
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