PARENTS of Muslim students at a Grammar School feel they have ‘exhausted all avenues’ after campaigning for a multi-faith prayer room for five years.

Parents have campaigned and raised the issue with the headteacher, but claim the matter has not been solved and students have been told to pray in the corridors during lunchtime, after it became too cold to pray outside.

Prayer is a key pillar of Islam and is compulsory five times a day. In winter prayer times come closer together, falling into school hours, which students struggle to perform due to the lack of prayer space.

One parent, said: “We have been asking for this prayer room for a long time and we just haven’t had any support in the matter.

“We’ve appealed to the head teacher, we’ve had meetings, MPs have been involved and still nothing has come from it.

“We were told that a new building is in the works and there is a chance that it could have a prayer room but, in the meantime, there are no other provisions.”

Prayers would not be taking place during school teaching hours, but at lunchtime and after school, the campaigners say.

Students have claimed that the lack of a prayer space has impacted their spiritual, social, health and well-being and feel as though the school is alienating their needs.

On previous occasions when the situation had been raised, parents say they have been told that the main reason behind not being able to provide a prayer space was due to overcrowding and lack of supervision.

Now parents claim that some students, from year 10 onwards have been allowed to pray on the premises, not in a private space, but rather in the corridor.

Naz Shah, MP for Bradford West, whose constituents attend the school, said: “It has been five years since parents of students at Bingley Grammar School first raised their concerns to me about the barriers their children were facing with prayer on school grounds, outside of learning and teaching time.”

“For five years, I have been liaising with parents and the leadership at Bingley Grammar School to help facilitate a mutually agreeable plan.

"However, despite, the years of dialogue, patience and negotiation, parents and students in my constituency still feel that they are not any closer to achieving a dedicated space for students to use for prayer, meditation, mindfulness, and reflection.

“Instead, I have been informed by constituents that sixth formers were recently prevented from praying and that some students have resorted to praying on a field on school grounds.

“Despite contemplation and multi-faith rooms being added as key features on our university campuses, in airports, shopping centers, civic buildings, hospitals, community centers, and in workplaces across sectors, it saddens me to see the value of these spaces being undermined in our early education spaces, particularly when students feel they need such spaces to prioritise their spirituality, health and well-being to learn better and sharpen their focus.”

The T&A approached Bingley Grammar School and Bradford Council but both chose not to comment.