September 5, 2014 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Leicester, United Kingdom (September 05, 2014): It is learnt that Schools minister Lord Nash has agreed to meet with the trustees of a new Sikh free school in Leicester (UK) which was due to open this week.
According to a news reported by Leicester Mercury (LM), [t]he agreement was reached following a meeting between Leicester East MP Keith Vaz and the minister this morning.
Falcons Primary, as it is known, was supposed to open on Wednesday for the first time in £1 million new premises in Gipsy Lane.
However, its funding agreement from the Department for Education (DfE) was terminated at the end of last week because of a significant breakdown in the relationship between the Akaal Education Trust, and partnership organisation, the Affinity Teaching School Alliance, based in Kibworth.
A petition was immediately launched by concerned parents whose children were supposed to be attending the school and other members of the Sikh Community. It called on the trustees, who make up the Akaal Education Trust, to have their funding reinstated.
Following the meeting Mr Vaz said: “It was a very positive meeting and I’m very grateful to the minister for having set it up with the urgency it required due to huge concerns from the community.
“Lord Nash wants to see a Sikh school open in Leicester. The building now exists, the demand is there and there is a shortage of local places.
“In a week’s time the Sikh trustees will present proposals and the changes they have made including to the school’s governing body.
“At the moment the government’s timetable is to open the school next September, but the trustees have said they can do so much quicker than that so it’s a question of convincing the department that this can be done sooner rather than later.”
Akaal Education Trust was granted permission by the DfE last year to open the school.
Parent Kartar Singh, whose children were due to attend the school, accompanied Mr Vaz to the meeting.
He said he was very grateful to the Leicester MP for doing so and for paving the way forward.
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