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All religious faiths need holy days;Letter;News and opinion

I GENERALLY support your correspondent Alan Millard's call for teachers to be given time off for religious festivals (TES, November 26).

But unlike him I believe this needs to be granted, not because the festivals are non-Christian, but because they are religious. Every institution needs to be reminded that there are some things more important than itself, and schools are no exception.

It is a mistake to believe that Christian days of observance are entirely covered by our traditional holidays; and the introduction of four or five-term years is even more likely to ignore major Christian festivals.

Schools or local education authorities which do pursue a progressive policy on non-Christian holy days are not always tolerant of Christian equivalents.

Religious festivals tell us and others who we are. Christians in schools now need that as much as anyone else. It would be quite reasonable for Christians to request time off for worship on the Thursday of Ascension Day.

Richard Wilkins

General secretary

Association of Christian Teachers

94a London Road

St Albans

Hertfordshire

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