Page last updated at 16:57 GMT, Sunday, 22 June 2008 17:57 UK

Buddhist school planned for city

Trustees want the school to be built within five years

A charitable trust is planning to build the UK's first Buddhist state primary school in Birmingham.

The Birmingham Buddhist Vihara Trust, which set up the Peace Pagoda in Edgbaston 10 years ago, wants to built the school within five years.

State funding would be sought for the scheme, which would mainly serve the city's 3,000-strong Buddhist community.

But some campaigners oppose state funding for schools they say would cater for distinct sections of society.

However, Buddhist monk Ashin Gawsaka said Buddhism was "good for all people" and that the school would teach children to how to respect everyone regardless of their faith.

He said he wanted to pay people back for the charitable donations which gave him and his fellow monks their food and shelter.

The trust has built a university in Ladywood that is devoted to teaching the ancient faith in the city.

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