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Last Updated: Monday, 24 May, 2004, 17:11 GMT 18:11 UK
Muslim group to open faith school
Manningham Middle School
The school will open its doors to 1,000 girls in September
A Bradford school which closed 10 years ago is to reopen as a faith school catering mainly for Muslim children.

Manningham Middle School has been bought by one of the city's leading Muslim organisations.

The Jamigat Tabligh Ul Islam Association says that while it will take pupils of all faiths its emphasis will be on the teachings of Islam.

Bradford councillor David Ward says the school should be supported despite his opposition to segregated education.

Mr Ward is the council's executive member for education.

"It is not of help to us," he said of the school's plan to take on largely Muslim pupils.

"That really goes for faith schools or any schools that segregate or select in any way. That is a personal view of mine.

"But they have the right to select and we would be supportive of this," he added.

Khadim Hussain
Mr Hussain says Manningham meets a need for girls' schools
Manningham Middle School was formed as Belle Vue Boys' Grammar in Bradford's industrial heyday in the 19th century and counts writer JB Priestley as one of its former pupils.

It closed in 1994 - a casualty of Bradford council's reorganisation of the city's education system.

In 2001, Lord Ouseley said in his report into that summer's Bradford riots that communities living in the city were still ignorant of each other and that segregated schools had emerged as a problem.

The Jamigat Tabligh Ul Islam Association plans to open the girls' school to around 1,000 pupils in September.

Spokesman Khadim Hussain said: "There is a lot of interest being shown from the community and there is a shortage of girls' schools in Bradford.

"We will take professional advice on how it should be run and it will be staffed by professionals," he added.

Mr Hussain's son Sajid, an Oxford graduate and head of chemistry at Nab Wood School in Bingley, will spearhead the project and said he believed it would be the first of its kind in the country.

"We would expect it to be like the best independent schools and have excellent results."




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