The briefing was carried out via zoom and was well attended with 18 participants joining the call. The Easy Read Guides that MEND have developed to support parents when requesting a prayer space in schools were explained during the presentation and Q&A followed.
Concerns were raised as to how children struggled to fit salah and eating in at lunchtime, considering the difficulty of moving swiftly to the prayer area and back, and general difficulty of time constraints at breaks.
A parent of a Secondary pupil stated their child had to leave school to pray at the masjid nearby and it seemed apparent that if facilities were not available at school, then children were forced to leave the premises to fulfil religious obligations and sometimes not getting time to eat.
A lady from from the North of England raised her concern that her child’s request for prayer space had been refused and wanted advice regarding it. She elaborated on her story and it was apparent from her story and others’ that discrimination and inequality regarding meeting childrens’ needs is still taking place. Her query was met sympathetically and a follow up discussion will take place to ensure she receives the support she needs and her child request is fulfilled.
Overall the attendees’ comments during and after the briefing were positive and messages of gratitude were sent for providing a clear picture and analysis of what a child’s rights are. It seemed to have empowered parents and equipped them with the information they needed to ensure their child’s needs were met.