An Oldham school has responded to accusations that pupils were forced to pray outside.

A pupil who was part of the group who prayed outside has also spoken out for the first time.

A widely shared Instagram post and video claims pupils at Oldham Academy North school were 'forced' from a school building. It meant they had to perform their special Friday prayers outside.

An academy spokesperson said: “We would like to offer a sincere apology.

"We are proud of our diversity and have never, and would never, stop students from praying or ask them to pray outside.

“While we have always sought to provide appropriate prayer facilities at the academy, we are working with Oldham Interfaith Forum and Oldham Council to address the concern this issue has caused.

“At The Oldham Academy North, we consider our diversity our greatest strength. We will always do everything in our power to ensure our students, staff and our communities are given the very best opportunities in life.”

A pupil who was involved said a lot of what was being said online were rumours but the group did have to pray outside.

The pupil who did not wish to be named said: “We weren’t actually kicked out of the school, it is just rumours, we were just told that we can’t pray at that time.

"We were praying Jummah and a teacher came in and told us we aren’t allowed to pray in that room and she slammed the door and seemed angry.

“We have had a prayer room for a long time, teachers would allow us to go there for our prayers."

Mufti Helal Mahmood of the Oldham Mosques Council said: “We must not let ourselves be divided when issues arrive but work through them in partnership to achieve peaceful resolutions.”