BLACKBURN’S controversial Islamic Olive Primary School is to get a new, purpose-built home which will cost over five million pounds.
The Tauheedul Trust has applied for planning permission to construct a two storey complex on Meins Road in Beardwood next to its high-flying girls academy.
The plan will enable the school population to grow from 240 in three years groups, to 630 in seven separate year groups.
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The school is currently based on Bicknell Street, Shear Brow.
Tauheedul Trust chief executive Hamid Patel said the proposal aimed to ‘offer an even better learning experience to our intake and create a new hub at the heart of the local community.’
In July a Channel Four TV documentary alleged staff at the free primary school had banned clapping and music in class.
An emergency Ofsted report cleared the school of all accusations, saying: “British values are promoted well and planning is clearly translated into practice.”
The trust’s attempt to move its boys high school to the former YMCA building at Edinburgh House on Clarence Street had to be abandoned after failing to get permission over traffic congestion and parking concerns.
The application for the new school to Blackburn with Darwen Council’s planning committee includes a detailed brief which says: “The site for the new Tauheedul Olive primary school is the part of the currently unoccupied playing areas of the former Beardwood High School in Blackburn.
"Situated on Meins Road, the proposed school will sit adjacent to the newly opened Tauheedul Islam Girls High School which occupies the bulk of the site.
“The land for the new Olive is in the ownership of the council and is no longer in use as playing fields having been initially set aside as possible school development land for primary use.
“The site comprises an old ‘redgraw sports surface’ of approximately 5000 square metres and is no longer fit for purpose, as well as a large area of derelict scrub land.”
It proposes a brand new two-storey building with 12 classrooms, 55 car parking spaces on site and a pupil drop-off facility at a ratio of one space for every 10 pupils.
Reception and infant classrooms will be located on the ground floor and junior classrooms on the first floor.
There will be a typical primary school main hall for assembly, dining, physical education, performance etc; and a small hall/ reflection space, capable of the same uses, but also be used for prayers. There will be offices, a sick bay, a staff room and external play spaces with sheltered areas.
Mr Patel said: “We are very excited. Should our application be successful, we will be able to offer an even better learning experience to our intake and create a new hub at the heart of the local community.”
Borough education boss Dave Harling said: “If this new building is an improvement. that’s good news for the education of the children.”