Video: Meet the nine-year-old girl who petitioned her school after it cancelled the nativity play

Lahlee Painter, 9, from Oulton Broad has organised a petition because her school is not doing a nativity this year. Lahlee Painter, 9, from Oulton Broad has organised a petition because her school is not doing a nativity this year.

Sunday, December 15, 2013
10:29 AM

The annual Christmas play is the highlight of the year for many families and is the chance for children to show off their performance skills in front of a room full of proud parents and grandparents.

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So when nine-year-old Lahlee Painter discovered Oulton Broad Primary School would not be putting on play this year, she launched a petition for it to be reinstated.

The youngster, whose siblings Shine, seven, Xanthe, six and Margot, three, also attend the school in Christmas Lane, said she was disappointed to discover she would not be getting the chance to appear on stage.

The petition was signed by 60 of Lahlee’s classmates and presented to head teacher Jamie White this month.

The school was being inspected by Ofsted when it was contacted by The Journal this week and Mr White was not available for comment.

However, it is understood the school had staged a nativity play in previous years and this was the first time it would not go ahead.

Lahlee, who lives in Noel Road with her family, said: “I thought it was a bit disappointing because we have had one every year and we were looking forward to it.”

She said her friends were disappointed too and thought the petition was a good idea.

She added: “Mr White didn’t say why it was cancelled. I hope he will change his mind for next year.”

Lahlee’s parents Duncan Wain and Claire Painter also have two older children – Olivia Painter, 20, and Claude Painter, 18 – who attended Oulton Broad Primary and appeared in nativity plays there.

Mr Wain said: “Our children have been at Oulton Broad for 16 years and there has always been a nativity 
play.

“There was no mention of it until a couple of weeks ago when one of the teachers said to us they were not having one.

“The teachers said they were prepared to do it and we found out that members of the school council weren’t asked about it so Lahlee decided to do a petition.

He added: “People have time off work to see their kids in the nativity. You don’t expect a Hollywood production and are just happy to see your child stand there for two minutes and say a few lines and sing Away in a Manger.

“We were so disappointed about it and a lot of other parents that we have spoken to are disappointed too.

“We are gutted about it but we thought our little girl was really brave to do the petition.”

Mr Wain said previous Christmas productions at the school had raised money for charity and had supported Quidenham Children’s Hospice in the past.

Children from Oulton Broad Primary School will be performing at a carol concert at St 
Michael’s Church in Oulton Broad on Monday.

21 comments

  • I expect some nutter found it offensive. If so, shame on them!

    Report this comment

    marty r

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013

  • Attend Sunday School. You will be guaranteed a nativity play. In fact you'll probably learn more maths and reading too considering what you get at Norfolk Schools. My Angel Gabriel will be long remembered at my prep school. My mother tied my wings on so tight that I had to move the straps continually to stop them cutting into my flesh. This had the effect of making the wings flap enthusiastically. Why should children miss this fun?

    Report this comment

    alecto

    Saturday, December 14, 2013

  • Frank N Sense : "....Lahlee , Shine , Xanthe & Margot? Poor kids...." . This from the Archant troll previously calling himself Jenny Talia and Emma Rhoyds. Men who pretend to be women on online forums should be on the sex offenders register.

    Report this comment

    LARSON.E. WHIPSNADE

    Sunday, December 15, 2013

  • 'Frank n sense', the children may have unusual names and yours may 'normal' but sadly it didn't stop you posting a rude and ignorant comment! Well done to Lahlee and shame on the school.

    Report this comment

    catalonia13

    Sunday, December 15, 2013

  • This is so sad..the nativity to me is what Christmas is all about. The kids love doing it, I hope this is not political correctness gone mad.

    Report this comment

    musicman

    Friday, December 13, 2013

  • That's the really sad part about it - the plays at Oulton Broad Primary have always been brilliant and in no way dreary, much more like a panto than a nativity. We had "A Cowboy Christmas" the other year!

    Report this comment

    gordonlapwing

    Friday, December 13, 2013

  • Oh God (literally). How could the new Headmaster have got it so wrong? Of course the children singing was lovely but cramming that many into a church so you could only see the four at the front and centre was a bad mistake. We couldn’t see one of our children at all, but we weren’t the only ones moaning that they couldn't see their kids. Some parents even left. The worst part was the vicar's “service” about Mary being a teenage mum and women dying in childbirth (!) The children and parents didn't look very happy to me, even the ones who were told that they could dress up; and this was only last week after so many people complained. Mr White said he planned to do this every year - I imagine this little girl's petition next Christmas will have hundreds of signatures – mine will be near the top!

    Report this comment

    mumoftwoOB

    Monday, December 16, 2013

  • Perhaps the EDP can get the head teacher to explain. Least he can do. My guess is they felt they were too busy with ofsted.

    Report this comment

    samphirelover

    Saturday, December 14, 2013

  • This is so sad..the nativity to me is what Christmas is all about. The kids love doing it, I hope this is not political correctness gone mad.

    Report this comment

    musicman

    Friday, December 13, 2013

  • GoodRockinDaddy

    Friday, December 13, 2013

  • Not the first time a child has organised a petition at a Lowestoft school. In 1968 I put one together at St. Mary's RC Primary. The nuns were not amused! BTW I suspect the pressures of OFSTED were the reason for there being no play.

    Report this comment

    Trawlerboyinexile

    Sunday, December 15, 2013

  • I do so hope the play wasn't cancelled because of OFSTED. I thought the celebration of all religions and traditions was important.

    Report this comment

    jennifer jane

    Friday, December 13, 2013

  • I have it on good authority that Ofsted will soon be ranking primary schools on how good their nativity plays are. The top schools will get a 5 stars of Bethlehem rating but those at the bottom will be sold online. Critics say that judging schools this way is not a good measure of how good a school is, and small things such as a little stagefright by Mary or Joseph or an altercation between the shepherds and the sheep could be just enough to tip a school into the academy world. What do EDP readers think? Should schools be ranked by nativity play star rating, or should we stick to good old reading writing and arithmatic?

    Report this comment

    Fly Tipper

    Saturday, December 14, 2013

  • I've really enjoyed performing in, and attending, many school plays, pantomimes, musicals and concerts over the years, but I was very relieved when I'd been to my last obligatory Nativity. I loathed being in them as a child in the 1950s (as did most of my friends) and I loathe them still. As for 'Away In a Manger', I am unable to think of a drearier piece of music or more saccharine lyric. Of course there should be a school show to celebrate Yuletide and the dark days of the year, but let's have pantomime and fun in our schools, leave the Nativity to the church-goers.

    Report this comment

    point du jour

    Friday, December 13, 2013

  • Well done Lahlee, you will go far! Of course they should have a Nativity play, its great for the children and they learn from it what Christmas is really all about. It is also lovely for them and their parents to take part and all enjoy, shame on the Bah Humbugs of the school.

    Report this comment

    Lynda

    Saturday, December 14, 2013

  • Change of Headteacher and leadership team - change of attitude. Shame on the new regime!

    Report this comment

    Kristiangarrett

    Sunday, December 15, 2013

  • Could be any number of reasons the school has chosen not to put on a play at Christmas. Perhaps a journalist could find ou, and then explain it to the children..

    Report this comment

    GoodRockinDaddy

    Friday, December 13, 2013

  • Could be any number of reasons the school has chosen not to put on a play at Christmas. Perhaps a journalist could find ou, and then explain it to the children..

    Report this comment

    GoodRockinDaddy

    Friday, December 13, 2013

  • Arithmetic....to the bottom of the class popeye.

    Report this comment

    Fly Tipper

    Saturday, December 14, 2013

  • Oh God (literally). How could the new Headmaster have got it so wrong? Of course the children singing was lovely but cramming that many into a church so you could only see the four at the front and centre was a bad mistake. We couldn’t see one of our children at all, but we weren’t the only ones moaning that they couldn't see their kids. Some parents even left. The worst part was the vicar's “service” about Mary being a teenage mum and women dying in childbirth (!) The children and parents didn't look very happy to me, even the ones who were told that they could dress up; and this was only last week after so many people complained. Mr White said he planned to do this every year - I imagine this little girl's petition next Christmas will have hundreds of signatures – mine will be near the top!

    Report this comment

    mumoftwoOB

    Monday, December 16, 2013

  • Big shame not to have this.When my children were at this school they loved doing the nativity.Lets hope they have one next year.

    Report this comment

    Mandy Halliday

    Friday, December 13, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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