A SCHOOL has apologised after a teacher told a class full of children that Father Christmas was not real.

The pupils aged 10 and 11 at Hill View Primary School in Bournemouth, were making Christmas cards when the stand-in teacher from a supply agency made the festive faux pas.

She is said to have upset many of the Year Six pupils who left school in the afternoon asking their parents if it was true.

The school emailed a letter to parents 'apologising profusely' for the upset caused to their children by the Santa slur.

They said they were 'deeply disappointed' with the teacher in question and said she will not be returning to the school.

But parents have been left consoling their youngsters and have questioned what primary school teacher would ruin Christmas.

In the letter sent on Wednesday, the school said: "We are aware that this afternoon, whilst making Christmas cards, a supply teacher told the Year 6 children that Father Christmas is not real.

"We apologise for any upset this may have caused you and your children and we will be contacting the supply agency about this.

"Please accept our sincere apologies and thank you for your understanding in this matter."

A follow up letter sent yesterday (Thurs) said: "Just to update you regarding the incident with the supply teacher, the supply agency were spoken to and that particular supply teacher will not be back at Hill View.

"As a school we sincerely apologise for this and the supply agency also send their apologies.

"Thank you for your comments and emails which have been taken on board and we can assure you that she will not return to Hill View."

One parent, who did not want to be named, said: "Christmas is a stressful time of the year as it is, the last thing we need is the school ruining it by taking away the magic. It's really not on.

"What teacher in their right mind would say that to young kids? And how did it even come up? The mind boggles.

"Year 6 is the last year we can expect our kids to have some sort of innocence before moving onto big school, and for parents of only children that's a big deal.

"I know other parents who are a bit anxious now. Some of them have younger children and the worry is their child who heard this might repeat it to their sibling.

"My 10-year-old has been asking us lots of questions about it ever since. It's not a great way to see out the Christmas term."

A spokesperson for Hill View Primary School said: "We wrote to parents to let them know what had happened in a class that was being led by a supply teacher.

"We are obviously deeply disappointed, and have apologised profusely to our families for any upset caused.

"The supply teacher in question will not be returning to Hill View and we have made a formal complaint to the supply agency we used for this unacceptable behaviour.

"This is a magical time of year for us at Hill View and we take care and time to make sure there are plenty of opportunities for the children to celebrate the joy of Christmas, including through the wonderful nativity by our reception children, church and panto visits, the Christmas Fayre and carols on the playground to name but a few."