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Friday, 5 April, 2002, 12:08 GMT 13:08 UK
Schools told to mark royal funeral
The Queen Mother and the Prince of Wales
Government advice is that schools mark the funeral
Head teachers are being advised to mark the Queen Mother's funeral on Tuesday by letting children watch the ceremony on television.

After discussions with the royal family, the government has released guidance on the event to schools.

The advice is that schools should remain open and that the funeral be marked in some way.

It says: "The royal family and the government suggest that on the day of the funeral head teachers may wish to consider whether the school timetable might be adjusted to enable children to mark the event in some appropriate way, for example by viewing the funeral on television."

Not watching

Many children will not be at school on the day of the funeral, 9 April.

But some schools are returning from their Easter break on Monday.

Head teachers are deciding how to mark the day. Some do not plan on letting pupils watch the funeral.

Martin Ward, the principal of Wyke College in Hull, said pupils would not be watching the funeral at school.

"They will all be too busy, they have exams coming up soon, " he said.

"But also, I don't think many of them would be interested.

"They are 17 and 18 and would probably regard it as odd and medieval.

"I have nothing against the Queen Mother, we all think well enough of her, but I don't think we will be turning on televisions."

"A great character"

Primary school head teacher Mick Brooks is not planning on letting his pupils at Sherwood Junior in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, watch the funeral live on television either.

He said: "My personal view is that we will mark the passing of someone who has been a great character of the 20th century, but we won't be downing tools to watch the funeral on television.

"I don't think it is appropriate for primary school children."

Mr Brooks said he thought the school would mark the Queen Mother's death and funeral in a two-minute silence at assembly.

"I will discuss it with the teachers on Monday and I think they will agree this is appropriate, rather than interrupting the curriculum to watch the funeral."

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