The country's best state primary school has called on the government to take a firm stand on hijabs and fasting among young Muslim children in classrooms, rather than leave schools to create their own rules.

St Stephen's primary school in Upton Park, Newham, east London, which topped the Sunday Times Parent Power school league tables last year, has banned girls under eight years old from wearing the Islamic headscarf in school.

It has also told parents that children are not allowed to fast during the school day in the month of Ramadan, when many pupils may have to sit summer exams.

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