A SCHOOL’S Christmas play has sparked complaints from angry parents that it is telling children Father Christmas isn’t real.

Children at Prince Avenue Primary School, in Hornby Avenue, Westcliff, are rehearsing “Gimme, Gimme, Gimme” for their Christmas performance.

The play features two spoiled children who expect to get everything they want for Christmas, but are taught that not everyone has such a wonderful Christmas as them.

However, parents are concerned that the play includes lines suggesting that Santa is not real, as it makes reference to parents dressing up as him to deliver their presents.

The whole school is included in the performance, so it would be watched by children in the nursery.

Headteacher William Hill said the play features Father Christmas and after a meeting, some parts of the play were now being changed.

A parent, whose four year old daughter attends the school, was appalled by the choice of play.

He said: “Thankfully my daughter hasn’t said anything about it yet, but another parent said that while they were Christmas shopping, their child asked if Father Christmas was real.

“It broke the parent’s heart to hear their child ask that.

“My daughter will hear the children singing the songs about him not existing.

“It is not acceptable that they are performing this play.

“I am disgusted.”

He added that he had attended a staff meeting held about the play and spoken to teachers.

Another parent, who declined to be named, also contacted the Echo about the play.

She said: “There are a lot of angry parents who went to the meeting.

“The school is telling the children that Father Christmas isn’t real. That’s not acceptable. The school can’t do that.”

A third parent was also not impressed by the school’s choice of play.

She said: “It is a horrible situation.

“Christmas should be a magical time for children, it’s not right this is being suggested.”

Headteacher Mr Hill said a small group of parents had raised concerns about the play.

He added: “The play does not say that Father Christmas does not exist. “It is about the true meaning of Christmas which is an important message for children as it has become very commercialised.

“We have 420 children at the school and only a small number of parents are unhappy.

“I have shown the script to other parents and they did not see any problems with it.”