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Last Updated: Saturday, 2 September 2006, 14:48 GMT 15:48 UK
Profile: Jameah Islameah school
Jameah Islameah school
The Jameah Islameah school was formerly a convent
As police search a school near Tunbridge Wells in connection with the 14 arrests made during an anti-terror raid in London, what is known about the Islamic school?

According to its website, for an annual fee of 900, the Jameah Islameah school provides its students with "an opportunity of a lifetime in the form of Islamic teacher training".

It continues that "these trained individuals will then be qualified enough to teach in local Masajeds and Madares".

The school, set in 54-acre grounds, is situated in Mark Cross near Crowborough, East Sussex.

It's a shock to think that something like this could be going on round here, but at the moment we just don't know what's going on
Philip Child
Mark Cross resident

It is believed to have 100 rooms, including outhouses.

A report by Ofsted inspectors who examined the school last December stated it opened in September 2003 to provide an education for Muslim boys aged 11 to 16, and was formerly a convent.

At the time of the inspection only nine boys attended the school.

The report concluded the school has a "significant number of major weaknesses" and although the teaching had some what improved it remains "unsatisfactory and prevents pupils making the progress of which they are capable".

Abu Hamza attended

Last weekend it emerged that radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza booked a weekend for him and his followers at the school after he saw an advert for the retreat in a London mosque.

Bilal Patel, the school's imam, said he was immediately worried about Hamza's behaviour and on what impact the sight of the cleric and his 15 followers would have on the neighbours.

One local, who did not wished to be named, said: "You rarely see any of the pupils or people associated with the school in the village."

Philip Child, 18, who lives about 300 yards from the school, thought they had done more to integrate with the community in recent times.

"They have become more chatty, and sometimes if they need advice to fix one of their cars or something, they would come round.

"It's a shock to think that something like this could be going on round here, but at the moment we just don't know what's going on."


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