A councillor has said that if one parent removes their child from a lesson over objections to the teaching of Islam, it is one too many.

Labour Councillor Martin Kerin made the remarks after Wednesday's meeting and hinted that the council may take some form of action once the investigation is completed.

Mr Kerin, who is also a member of the council’s religious education advisory group, said: “We need to do this investigation to find out how many times this has happened. Even one parent doing it is one too many.

“If a child is at a school and asked to take part in a collective act of worship and they want to withdraw then they can but this is not about being asked to do that. This is learning about Islam in the same way children learn about other religions.

READ MORE: Mum reveals why she has taken her child out of classes covering Islam

“We shouldn’t exclude one faith because of a certain view and think I don’t want my children to learn about that. We can’t say we’ll do a week on Judaism and then sit out a week on Islam.

“I am hoping that when the report is concluded sometime in the summer it will only be a minute number of people and we can handle it in the least intrusive way but that is in an ideal world. Once we get the information, we may not like what it says.”

Since the 1944 Education Act came into force, parents have had the right to withdraw their children from all or part of religious education lessons.

Mr Kerin said he couldn’t comment on this until after the investigation had been completed.

“I can’t pre-judge this investigation," he said.

"I don’t know the reasons for this, I don’t know if it is just a handful of schools and I don’t know they are all in the same area and it is geographical, so I wouldn’t want to commit to a course of action until I know.

“If we don’t look into this it could be the start of a slippery slope. What will be next, will a parent want to remove their child from French or German lessons because we are leaving the European Union or from history lessons because they don’t agree with a certain part of it?"

Southend Council said they are not aware of a similar issue in the area but they will discuss Thurrock's investigation at an upcoming meeting and consider looking into it further.

Essex County Council said no colelctive data is held on withdrawals as it is retained by individual schools instead.