school ban on nativity photos

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FURIOUS parents have attacked a school’s decision to ban them from taking pictures or filming their own children’s nativity play.

This week, Information Commissioner Chris-topher Graham said ‘parents should feel free to snap away this Christmas and stand ready to challenge any schools or councils that say ‘bah, humbug’ to a bit of festive fun’.

But Abbots Green Primary, on Moreton Hall in Bury St Edmunds, has told parents they will instead have to buy ‘action shots’ taken by a photographer during dress rehearsals, or take shots themselves in the corridor.

The parents say they understand the issue has arisen because some parents do not want pictures of their children being taken – but they feel a compromise should be reached.

Vicki Georgiou-Holden, who has a son at the school, was among those parents who contacted the Bury Free Press.

She said: “We have already missed out on his first ever performance at the school and feel very sad and distressed that there seems to be no compromise.

“All my children have a photo album as a record of their life. Our son will have a gap of four more school years if Abbots Green does not reconsider.”

Another mum, Kelly Hailstone, said: “I do hope a compromise can be found because I think it is sad that we cannot have these treasured moments captured as a keepsake.”

Dad Graham Moore said: “I know I am not the only disappointed parent. A close friend was looking forward to capturing her daughter’s first Christmas play and solo singing performance.

“Several other parents have told me that they are disgusted and annoyed. I am sure there are better solutions to this problem than simply banning all parents and stealing their chances of capturing precious memories.”

Bury MP David Ruffley said he would be writing to the school.

“While no doubt well intentioned this is a case of the nanny state going a bit too far,” he said.

Nicola Hubbard, business manager at the school, said: “A number of parents at the school have requested that their child is not filmed or photographed. This could be a number of reasons, including issues relating to child protection.

“The school has offered alternatives to parents who want to take pictures of their child during the production; we are offering parents the opportunity to take photographs of their own children in costume after the performance. A professional photographer has also taken action shots during dress rehearsals that are available for sale.

“As a school, we have to balance our duty to protect and safeguard the wellbeing of children in our care against ensuring parents have the opportunity to photograph their own child at a school event.”

n Email the editor, Barry Peters, with your views at barry.peters@buryfreepress.co.uk