The Education Department has thrown its support behind a school that invited students to leave assembly during the singing of the national anthem.

Cranbourne Carlisle Primary School recently told Shiite Muslim students that they could excuse themselves from singing Advance Australia Fair because it was a religious month of mourning.

The move infuriated Lorraine McCurdy, who has grandchildren at the school and told 3AW radio that up to 40 students left the room.

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