The Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, today approved proposals for a new primary school in Hackney.
The 630-place Olive School is set to open in September 2013. The new school has long been championed by local community groups and parents in partnership with Tauheedul Free Schools’ Trust.
During the consultation process over 1,000 parents signalled their desire to see the creation of the new Olive School.
One parent, Thamina Haidar, who is delighted with the news of the school’s go-ahead, said: “The news that the new school will open is absolutely brilliant. Myself and many other parents in the area have been actively pushing for just such a school for a good while and now, with the partnership we’ve formed with Tauheedul, we are all confident we will have a school to be really proud of. We all obviously have high aspirations for our children, but in this area are often faced with a variety of barriers and obstacles. It’s wonderful that the Government has given the go-ahead for the Olive School, which will remove a lot of those barriers and provide the education that we are all looking for.”
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 curriculum and provision will be based on the experiences of schools that are renowned for their success in achieving the best outcomes for their children. The 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, Mazhar Zaman, said: “A lot of consultation, planning and hard work has gone into getting to this stage with the Olive School. By looking at what works well in primary education and examining how our pupils acquire the knowledge that helps them achieve well in secondary school and beyond, we have come up with a formula that should give Hackney’s young people the best start in life.
“The school will provide a solid foundation of learning in key subjects, whilst the Big Society specialism is especially important to the local area. It will help us to work closely with all communities in Hackney, while by undertaking community service the pupils will promote harmonious relations and develop a real culture of active citizenship – something so important in a vibrant, multicultural city such as London.”
The Olive School, Hackney 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.