Muslim students forced to pray outside in cold weather due to 'lack of space' at Oldham school

A statement issued by the school said pupils were not able to use a room inside as 15 classrooms had been closed due to flooding problems.

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Oldham Academy North has been forced to apologise after video emerged of students being made to pray outside in cold weather.

After finishing their prayer, the boys, wearing their blazers and school shoes, quickly stand up and start picking up their school bags.

The video showing a number of students at the academy praying outside has been shared widely on social media, and has been labelled as ‘disgusting’.

A statement issued by the school said pupils were not able to use a room inside as 15 classrooms had been closed due to flooding problems.

The joint statement from Oldham Academy North, Oldham Council, and the Oldham Interfaith Forum read: "Earlier this week photos on social media began to circulate of students at The Oldham Academy North praying outside.

"The Oldham Academy North, Oldham Interfaith Forum and Oldham Council would like to address the understandable concern this has caused.

"Firstly, the academy would like to offer a wholehearted apology.

"The school is proud of its diversity and would never stop students from praying or ask them to pray outside.

"This situation arose due to a lack of space in the school, caused by a flood which created a huge amount of damage and made 15 rooms unusable.

"A room has since been found for students to pray in, and we understand they are happy with the space.

"The academy is writing to parents today to fully explain what has happened, and are happy to meet with any members of the community who are concerned."

Oldham Council Leader, Arooj Shah, added: “When we were made aware of the issues raised at the Oldham Academy North, we acted quickly to speak with the school to understand what had happened.

"Having spoken with the school leaders I am glad they have apologised to those who were affected and will be writing to parents to explain.

"We must not let ourselves be divided when issues arrive but work through them in partnership to achieve peaceful resolutions.”