The Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, today approved proposals for a new primary school in Blackburn.
The 630-place Olive School is set to open in September 2013 and is sponsored by the Tauheedul Free Schools’ Trust.
The new school has long been championed by local community groups who feel there is a definite need for such a venture in order to meet the needs and aspirations of local families. The school’s curriculum and provision will be based on the experiences of schools across the world that are renowned for their success in achieving the best outcomes for their children.
One local parent, Fatima Patel who is delighted with the news of the school’s go-ahead, said: “We want our children to get the best start in their education. Families in this part of Blackburn have high aspirations for their children, and we want our children to be successful from an early age so that they do well at secondary school. We are delighted that the Government has given the go-ahead for the Olive School, which will provide the education that we all want for our children.”
Whilst designated as a Muslim faith school, the Olive School will welcome applications from families of all faiths and none, and will actively promote community cohesion and traditional British values.
The school’s knowledge-based curriculum will be complemented by programmes of personal development and community service; students who achieve well in these areas will be awarded the school’s own mini-Baccalaureate.
Reacting to today’s news, Olive School Steering Group member, Faruk Dasu said: “We have looked at what works well in primary education, with a particular emphasis on helping our pupils acquire the knowledge that will help them achieve well in secondary school and beyond. The Olive School will provide a solid foundation of learning in key subjects, whilst at the same time inspiring children through great teaching.
“The Big Society specialism is especially important to the local area. We want to build bridges between all communities in Blackburn, and the community service that pupils at the school will undertake will promote harmonious relations and develop a real culture of active citizenship.”
The Olive School, Blackburn will be admitting pupils to Reception and Year 1 from September 2013 according to its admissions policy. It will then increase its numbers each following year from this point.
Judging by the interest already received, the sponsors anticipate that the school will be very popular and is likely to be over-subscribed.