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Muslim schools – 'risk of closure'

Muslim schools – 'risk of closure'

Categories: Latest News

Thursday November 19 2009

Dr Mohammed Mukadhum (pictured), chairman of the Association of Muslim Schools (AMS) tells the BBC Asian Network that the current economic climate and straitened financial circumstances of Muslim families are threatening the viability of Muslim schools in the UK.

Independent Muslim schools in the UK, numbering around 119, currently survive on fees and donations. However, the schools are seeing both rapidly dry up as families find it hard to finance their child’s education or make voluntary donations to help keep schools afloat.

Dr Mukadhum told BBC Asian Network that: ”Many of them [Muslim schools] have been relatively recently established so there has always been some financial struggle.

“But the economic crisis has put them under enormous pressure and they are getting through each day with great difficulty.

There are around 130 Muslim faith schools in the UK of which 11 enjoy voluntary aided status, meaning that their maintenance is covered by the Department for Children, Schools and Families.

The 119 independent Muslim schools are outside the state sector and have to manage on private, shoestring budgets.

‘A spokesman for the Department for Children, Schools and Families said: “It is always an emotive issue when any independent school faces potential financial difficulties – but there will be no bailouts with taxpayer’s money.”

‘He added: “We have made it far easier for an independent school to join the state sector – as long as it is supported by the local council and community.”

‘But Dr Mukadhum said many schools did not want to become voluntary aided because then the government would have a more substantial influence in the way they were run.’

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