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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 July, 2003, 19:01 GMT 20:01 UK
School refuses free fruit
The school says it will continue to promote good eating habits
A school in Leicestershire is withdrawing from a programme giving free fruit to youngsters because the scheme is paid for by the National Lottery.

The scheme aims to improve the diets of youngsters, and ensure they develop healthy eating habits.

But children at Charnwood Primary School will not be able to have the free fruit as the head teacher decided it would be more respectful to pull out of the scheme.

Head teacher Judy O'Connor is taking the action because many of the youngsters are Muslim and Islamic law strictly forbids any form of gambling.

No objections

She said: "Around 96% of our families are Muslim and they are making ethical and moral choices on behalf of their children.

"It's very important for us that we show respect for these choices and support the families in bringing their children up the way they want to."

Ibrahim Mogra, a local Muslim Imam, said: "Every parent has the right to choose but if they were to ask me as an Imam I would advise Muslim parents not to allow their children to eat this fruit because the teachings of our faith say that is not allowed."

The school said no parents had objected to the withdrawal and emphasised it would still promote healthy eating habits.

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