A Muslim father has made an official complaint after his daughter was allowed to join mixed-sex swimming lessons – which are against his religious beliefs.
Rehan Mirza, 32, is furious daughter Zainab Hussain, five, swam with boys when male staff were present.
But despite repeated requests, staff at William Booth Primary School in Sneinton, Notts., have taken his daughter swimming three times in mixed-sex classes at a local pool.
Father-of-two Rehan, a professional football coach, is now considering taking his daughter out of the school unless it respects her religion.
He said: ”We have made our position very clear. Because of religious reasons, we do not want Zainab swimming in mixed-sex classes.
”We don’t have a problem with her being taught in single-sex classes with female instructors.
”If the school cannot do that then we do not want her going to the pool. We are very happy for her to take part in another mainstream lesson so she is not missing out.
”I will not hesitate to take her out of school if the situation arises again. The school has to respect our beliefs.”
Rehan, of Sneinton, said the issue arose when Zainab – who wears a head veil – was taken to the pool at the John Carroll Leisure Centre in Radford, Notts, in March last year.
Despite his requests that it did not happen again, Zainab was taken three weeks ago and again last Tuesday.
Rehan, who coaches football at the University of Nottingham, the Notts County Academy and Notts Schools Football Association, has now made a complaint to Nottingham City Council’s children’s services department and school governors.
Headteacher Andy Mattison said parents did not have the right to prevent their children swimming but added that children would not be made to swim if they did not want to.
He said: ”While it is our understanding that parents do not have the right to withdraw children from swimming or any other PE activities we seek to show full respect for the views and wishes of parents and of children – and we do not make children go swimming if they don’t wish to.
”In this case we hope to have further discussions to resolve the situation to everyone’s satisfaction as soon as possible.”
A spokesman for the Department of Education said: ”It is a matter for individual schools and head teachers to work with any parents who have concerns about the teaching of a subject or class.”