Norfolk village school hosts sports day without parents

Parents have spoken of their anger and frustration after a village school held its sports day behind closed doors.

It was the first time in the history of Upwell Primary School that mums and dads were not at the sports day.

It followed a row between the education centre and parents about a Norfolk Arts Open day at the school which saw a small group of parents boycott the event because members of the public could also attend.

Headteacher James McBurney claimed this suggested parents were not being supportive of the school, while some mothers and fathers said they took this extreme action because it had not resolved their security concerns.

In light of the boycott, Mr McBurney and the school's staff agreed to postpone the annual event to consider the possibility of hosting the sports day without parents being invited.

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The headteacher then wrote to parents and said they would be invited but schoolchildren have competed in their sports day without having their parents cheering them on.

One parent, who didn't wish to be named, said: 'We had hoped this dispute with the school had been sorted out and we could move on but apparently it hasn't.

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'It just seems that the headteacher is playing a horrible game with us all which is really frustrating.'

Another mum added: 'Some of us are really upset to have missed out on watching our children taking part.'

A Norfolk County Council spokesman confirmed parents were invited to the sports days on June 29 and July 6 but were cancelled because of poor weather.

'The school was unable to rearrange the full event for another day but didn't want to disappoint the children so had to look for another opportunity when the field was dry to run a few races,' the spokesman said.

'This was decided on the day and the short notice meant that unfortunately the school couldn't invite parents and the headteacher could also not attend.

'The school wanted to give children the opportunity to compete and enjoy the event, rather than cancel it altogether.'

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