St Stephen’s, a primary school in East Ham, has reportedly banned girls under the age of eight from wearing the hijab, and has furthermore told parents that their children should not fast during the month of Ramadan whilst at school.
St Stephen’s head of governors, Arif Qawi, is said to have been advised by Muslim clerics that children need not fast until they reach puberty.
In the Sunday Times, headteacher Neena Lall said the changes were intended to help integrate children into British society.
Mr Qawi insists that fasting has not been banned outright; due to health and safety concerns, children are being encouraged to fast outside school.
A petition against the new school policies gained 8,000 signatures in just two days.