Legal action could be taken against a Mirfield school which has refused to provide a prayer room for its Muslim students.

Pupils at Mirfield Free Grammar School are having to perform their obligatory prayers outside in the winter weather for the second year in a row, and parents are annoyed that nowhere has been made available for them within the school.

The dispute first began in October 2014, and there have been a number of pleas for the school to change its mind.

Students submitted a written request to the principal asking her to reconsider the decision, and it was countersigned by more than 70 students, but was refused.

Parents have now instructed a solicitor to help them, as a last resort.

Lorraine Barker, executive principal of Mirfield Free Grammar
Lorraine Barker, executive principal of Mirfield Free Grammar

But the school’s executive principal Lorraine Barker said: “We are a broadly Christian academy and have never had a prayer room.

“Before students join the sixth form we make them aware of the facilities we have on site and we are clear that we have no prayer room.

“Sixth form students are welcome to go off site in order to pray and we have made arrangements in the local community for this to happen.”

The students say sixth formers are allowed to use the Community of the Resurrection in Mirfield for Friday Jumma prayers, but the distance involved means they are missing up to 30 minutes of lessons.

They are asking the school to reconsider and parents have instructed solicitor Yunus Lunat, of Leeds firm Ison Harrison, to represent them.

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He said: “The parents are not at all happy, and the school is not responding to them at all.

“We have options which we are considering and which will become apparent shortly.

“More than 70 students signed a petition last year and it may be that not all of them want to pray, or to pray at the same time, and some may see it as a point of principle.

“My understanding is that this is a situation which should be better managed. If there was engagement with other schools then a solution would have been found as other schools have prayer rooms.”

Mr Lunat also claims to have seen a letter purporting to link the lack of prayer facilities with the Prevent counter-terrorism strategy and radicalisation.

British teen Talha Asmal. Family of the 17 year-old reportedly killed himself in a suicide bombing in Iraq say they are devastated by his death.
British teen Talha Asmal. Family of the 17 year-old reportedly killed himself in a suicide bombing in Iraq say they are devastated by his death.

One of the school’s sixth form students, 17-year-old Talha Asmal, fled to Syria to join ISIS and died in a suicide attack in June when he drove a vehicle packed with explosives into an oil refinery in northern Iraq.

READ MORE: Mirfield Grammar School says suspected suicide bomber Talha Asmal was 'conscientious student'

READ MORE: Dewsbury MP Paula Sherriff calls for community to unite after tragedy of teenage suicide bomber