A Chorley school has cancelled nativities over the “growing demands on staff”.
Bosses at St Gregory’s Catholic Primary School have written to disappointed parents to tell them that in a change from previous years nativity plays will only be for the reception class.
They say the decision has been made due to the “growing impact on curriculum time which large-scale performances can have”.
Older years will instead be treated to a carol service.
One parent, who did not wish to be named, said nativity plays were a ‘rite of passage’ during primary school, and her child, who is the juniors, was disappointed to be missing out this year.
She said: “It is a real shame. All the kids are disappointed and there is plenty of talk about it at the school gates.
“The previous nativities have all been so good and the ones they held last year were fantastic, it brought the whole school together.
“It’s a rite of passage in school and all the parents love to get pictures of their kids dressed up. Having a carol service just isn’t the same.”
Parents were sent the announcement in a newsletter sent out by the Eaves Green Road school on Friday.
The newsletter said: “In a change to previous years, and in a move supported by the governing body, this year we are having a reception class nativity and a whole school carol service rather than several Christmas play.
“Please be assured, however, that as an Artsmark school, dance drama and music will still continue to have a high profile at St Gregory’s.”
One parent said: “It is a Catholic school and it’s built on Christian values. Christmas is a big part of that.
“It’s all very nice for the reception class, but what about everyone else?
“Is the work load really going that bad that all schools will eventually be like this?”
Simon Robinson, who is on the board of governors at the school, said the decision was made due to requirements that children must now undertake communion, confession and confirmation.
He said: “There is going to be a school nativity play. The reception class are putting it on and that will be shown to the whole school.
“The children are not missing out on the Christmas experience, and certainly not from a Catholic perspective.
“In the past classes higher up the school have put on their own Christmas play.
“That has been stopped or scaled back.
“That is due to curriculum time.
“Children are now required to do confession, communion and confirmation in one year. It places a heavy demand.
“This decision is just to make sure everyone gets involved appropriately.”