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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 October 2005, 12:10 GMT 13:10 UK
First UK Hindu school in London
A father and child at aHindu festival
The school will have at least 240 children
The UK's first state-funded Hindu school will be opened in London, the government has announced.

The Department for Education and Skills said it would give 9.8m to Harrow Council in north-west London, for the single faith school.

The borough, which has the highest percentage of Hindus in the UK, hopes the school will be open by 2010.

The I-Foundation, a Hindu charity that has campaigned for the school, said it was "delighted".

A spokesman for the council said it would begin the consultation process soon but that the location of the school was commercially sensitive.

Hindu population

She said in its first year there would be just one year group. More year groups would be added later until the school had its full complement of eight.

"We are doing this to minimise the effect on other schools in the area," the council spokeswoman said.

"If we opened the school with all eight years, other schools, especially primary schools, may suffer gaps in their places because of parents taking them out to go to the Hindu school."

About 20% of the population of the borough of Harrow is Hindu.

Our intent is to ensure that the school is fully integrated and working in synergy with the local community and schools
I-Foundation's Nitesh Gor
When all eight years are filled the school will have at least 240 pupils.

Nitesh Gor, spokesman for the I-Foundation, said: "Our intent is to ensure that the school is fully integrated and working in synergy with the local community and schools.

"To this end, over the coming months we will be working closely with Harrow Council to begin a rigorous programme of community and local school consultation to enable us to make this project successful."

Cllr Navin Shah, leader of Harrow Council, said: "The Hindu faith school will be yet another piece in the jigsaw of our culturally diverse and united communities."




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