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  • "A civilisation is measured not by the rights it grants its majority but the privileges it allows its minorities. Muslim families are as entitled as any other religious group to schools that nurture their children's faith. Muslim pupils should be educated in Muslim schools because the current system is marginalising them. Teaching Muslim children in a Muslim school would remove the "problem of them being exposed" to values that conflict with Islamic faith. Muslim pupils are disadvantaged and marginalised in the city's state schools because the cultural heritage of the curriculum is "European and Christian".

    Muslim schools provide an education in accordance with the Muslim beliefs and values, such as providing single-sex schooling after puberty. They are thus a response to the danger of absorption into the dominant culture.

    The number of Muslim children is on the increase in Bradford state and church schools. There are lot of schools where Muslim children are in majority. In my opinion, all such schools may be opted out as Muslim Academies for proper education.

    The demand for state funded Muslim schools is in accordance with the law of the land. Muslims are not asking for any favour. I set up the first Muslim school in London in 1981 and now there are 170 Muslim schools and only 12 are state funded. I would like to see each and every Muslim child in a state funded Muslim schools and I hope one day my dream would come true. There is no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school. Bilingual Muslim children need bilingual Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental period. There are few schools for Hindu and Sikh communities. Now even Black community is thinking of setting up their own state funded schools for their own children with black teachers.

    You better teach your children in your own schools and let migrant communities teach their children according to their needs and demands.British Establishment and society should concentrate on the evils of their own society and stop trying to change the way of life of Muslims. Muslim community does not want to integrate with the British society, indulging in incivility, anti-social behaviour, drug and knife culture, binge drinking, teenage pregnancies and abortion.

    A Muslim is a citizen of this tiny global village. He/she does not want to become notoriously monolingual Brit. He/she is well versed in standard English, Arabic, Urdu and other community languages so that they do not find themselves cut off from their cultural heritage and are able to enjoy the beauty of their literature and poetry.
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Consultation starts into proposals to increase places in district’s primaries

Bradford Council's bigger schools plan as pupil numbers surge

Eldwick Primary School, one of the schools where increases are planned

Councillor Ralph Berry

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Reporter

Plans have been published to increase the size of some primary schools across the district to cope with a predicted surge in pupil numbers, particularly in the Aire Valley.

A public consultation process has started about where to create an extra 1,210 school places over the next nine years.

Bradford Council yesterday named nine primary schools in areas of fast-growing populations where school rolls could grow.

Among the biggest planned increases is at Eldwick Primary School, near Bingley, which could see the school expand from 391 pupils up to 630 pupils over seven years from 2013/14.

Idle CE Primary School is proposed to expand by a further 220 places, or alternatively, Parkland Primary School, Thorpe Edge, could expand by an extra 114 places to cater for demand.

Other schools in the Aire Valley which are proposed to grow are Cullingworth Primary or Denholme Primary; Merlin Top Primary School or Victoria Primary School, Keighley; Haworth Primary School or Lees Primary School, Keighley; St Anthony’s Catholic Primary School, Shipley, and Aire View Infants School, Silsden, or Steeton Primary School.

The Bradford schools included in the consultation document are Shibden Head Primary School in Queensbury, which has been earmarked to increase capacity by 211 places, and St Clare’s Catholic Primary School, Fagley.

Views are also being sought on plans to change the admission priority areas for Eldwick Primary and the admission policies for Hill Top CE Primary School, Low Moor; Myrtle Park Primary School, Bingley, and St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Keighley.

The Council’s document warns that the district’s rising child population means that extra reception class places will be needed in the foreseeable future.

It states: “Over the past three years we have consulted on increasing intake numbers at a number of primary schools to meet the demand for places.

“It still appears, however, that numbers are continuing to rise and there will be a shortfall of places in some areas of the district.

“We are therefore consulting on enlarging a number of primary schools to enable us to implement further proposed increases in planned admission numbers.”

Councillor Ralph Berry, the Council’s executive member for children’s services, said: “We want as many people as possible to respond to this consultation so they can help shape the future of our schools.

“These proposals will allow expansion work to start on some of our schools which will provide much-needed places for the increasing numbers of children in the district.”

Councillor Jeanette Sunderland, leader of the Council’s Liberal Democrat group, questioned whether more should be done to increase places by building new schools in inner city Bradford.

“Clearly we have got to have enough spaces for school children, but what they really need to do is look at starting to build in the inner city, that’s where the demand is and what they are doing is increasing pressure just outside the area,” she said.

“We have two schools in my ward that have seen a massive increase in the number of children, but not a substantial increase in the number of facilities – there’s two schools that don’t have access to playing fields.

“So it’s not about trying to pour more children into already full schools. The Council has got to bite the bullet and start talking about building more schools.”

In response, Coun Berry said the Council was looking at other ways of increasing school places, even if it meant challenging Government policies.

He said: “The Government is trying to say local authorities can’t open new schools and we have to have academies. The issue for us is that we need schools in places where the children are – that’s not always the cheapest option.

“We have been deprived of resources to build schools where we need them.”

Councillor Roger L’Amie, the Council’s Conservative group education spokesman, was not available for comment last night.

The consultation ends on Friday, December 21.

Capital costs for building work would be provided by the authority from the Basic Needs capital allocations received from the Department or Education.

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