Muslim school denied state aid
Thursday 19 August 1993
Ten years after the school was founded by Yusuf Islam (formerly the pop singer Cat Stevens) and began its campaign for state funding, Baroness Blatch, Minister of State for Education, said yesterday that Islamia's application had again been turned down because of a surplus of primary school places in the borough.
The decision was condemned by Muslim groups as 'unjust and insensitive'. But a letter to Islamia's governors from the Department for Education made clear that there was no objection in principle to granting voluntary-aided status to a Muslim school.
The school's original application was turned down in 1990 by John MacGregor, then Secretary of State for Education, but a judge ordered a review on the grounds that the information on surplus places should have been revealed to the applicants. John Patten, the current Secretary of State, visited several months ago and was reportedly satisfied with the way Islamia implemented the national curriculum.
Brent local education authority has more than 1,500 surplus places within two miles of Islamia school, and about 3,500 altogether. Ibrahim Hewitt, former general secretary of the Islamia Schools Trust, said this was 'a bankrupt argument - because if Muslim parents were happy with the local authority schools, then there wouldn't be surplus places. It is clear that these schools are not meeting the needs of British Muslims.'
Sir Rhodes Boyson, a former Conservative education minister, said the decision was a disaster: 'There are a million Muslim believers now in Britain and they should have the same rights to voluntary-aided schools as have the Christian and Jewish communities.'
Ghulam Sarwar, director of the Muslim Educational Trust, said: 'This unjust and insensitive decision undermines the Government's case for choice and diversity in education.'
The 180-pupil school, which has a waiting list of about 1,000, has been heavily subsidised by Yusuf Islam, and parents are asked to contribute pounds 1,100 a year. But Mr Islam has warned that without government funding it may have to close.
- 1 BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
- 2 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 3 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
- 4 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
Isis propaganda video shows 25 Syrian soldiers executed by teenage militants in Palmyra
Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
£7 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care provider is looking for Home ...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...
£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...