A Wembley primary school is under fire after it threw out a seven-year-old pupil for visiting her dying grandfather in Sri Lanka.
Nithya Rasamani was struck off the roll at Sudbury Primary School for making the trip to say goodbye to her elderly relative without official permission.
Her distraught parents, Gunawathy and Egunouwathy, of Barley Close, Wembley, say they had no choice but to take the youngster out of the Watford Road school and are now appealing against the "harsh" decision.
Speaking on behalf of the angry couple, their 16-year-old son, Sayanthan, said: "We received a phone call saying our grandfather was very ill, so immediately booked a ticket to Sri Lanka for the following day.
"We told the school the situation, filled out a holiday form and was told it would be given to the headteacher.
"I had to stay at home and sleep on my auntie's floor because I am doing my GCSEs but there was nowhere for my sister to stay."
Nithya flew out to her family's native country on April 22, but her grandfather, who she was extremely close to, passed away shortly after arriving.
Sayanthan added: "My mum and dad had to help arrange the funeral so stayed longer than expected. On April 29 I went home to pick up some clothes and found two letters from the school.
"The first said that my sister did not have permission to have time off and the second said she was being thrown out."
The 16-year-old waited until after the funeral to break the bad news to his grieving parents.
"They were already very upset and it made them worse. They couldn't believe what the school had done," said Sayanthan.
Mr and Mrs Rasamani returned to the UK on May 14 and sought advice from the council. They have now submitted a formal appeal to try and overthrow the decision.
Nithya now faces the daunting prospect of finding a new school and making new friends.
Sayanthan said: "My sister has lost all her friends and is very upset about it. She has been crying saying she wants to go back and is getting very bored at home. She really enjoyed school."
A Brent Council spokeswoman said: "Nithya has been taken off the school roll because her parents took her out of school, without permission, for three weeks during term time. We are doing everything we can to advise and assist the family in ensuring that their daughter receives education and can return to school as soon as possible."