Sacred Heart primary in Blackburn could become the first Catholic school in Britain to be converted into an Islamic faith school following a dramatic change in the pupil population.
More than nine-in-10 of the school's pupils were Catholic a decade ago but that number plummeted to just three per cent this year.
The local diocese admitted the school – which must have a Catholic head teacher and devote 10 per cent of the timetable to Christian-based religious education – was no longer “serving the needs” of the community.
Under current legislation, the local council must effectively run a competition to find a new organisation to run the school.
Blackburn’s Masjid-e-Tauheedul Islam mosque, which already runs a girls’ secondary school in the town, is among a series of organisations expressing an interest.
Hamid Patel, principal of the Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School, told the Times Educational Supplement: “Given that most of the pupils are Muslim it makes sense for us to engage with the school.
“We will need more information on the expectations of the local authority, but if the community and the school want us to be involved, then, yes, we are interested.”
Sunday, 26 September 2010