Letter: Demand for Muslim schools

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Sir: Ten years ago Yusuf Islam set up the Islamia primary school in order to provide for a perceived need. That need is proven by its success and the school's waiting list of 1,000 children. Yet his second application for voluntary-aided status has been refused (report, 19 August; leading article, 20 August). The fact that Brent local education authority (despite several closures) still has surplus places is irrelevant to the argument.

Baroness Blatch, Minister of State for Education, must accept that specialist schools, be they religious, single sex, or special needs, will invariably attract pupils from a wider catchment area - beyond the boundaries of any borough. Many of the Muslim children attending the school (and on the waiting list) do not live in the London Borough of Brent. They will now have no option for their secondary schooling, probably reluctantly returning to their borough of origin, thus spurning Brent's surplus places. Where is the sense?

By using such spurious arguments the Government has once again demonstrated how out of touch it is with reality.

Yours faithfully,


Liberal Democrat Group

Brent Council



23 August