New Islamic boys’ school set to open in Batley

Kirklees College's Batley Centre will open as an Islamic boys' secondary school.
Kirklees College's Batley Centre will open as an Islamic boys' secondary school.
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A dedicated secondary school for Batley’s Muslim community will officially open its doors in September.

The Al Hashim Academy has completed its takeover of Kirklees College’s Batley centre, in Cambridge Street, which has been empty for two years.

The educational charity bought the premises for £415,000, after it appealed on its website for donations.

After receiving the keys for the Grade II listed building last month, members have begun preparations for the new school year.

Founding director Khabbaab Raja said: “A faith-based school in this area has been long overdue. There has been a need for nearly two decades, maybe more.

“There have been projects by other groups in the past but it just did not happen. One group had been renting a property but never found a permanent site and in the end lost hope.

“But we have this site now and there has been lots of interest in the local community.”

The charity purchased the building thanks to donations from individuals, businesses and from a business loan.

Mr Raja said the transition from a technical college into a secondary school would be an easy one.

“We do not need to do much as it was already an education centre,” he said.

“There were chairs and furniture left behind so we had almost everything we needed. We just need to set up and start.”

More than 40 pupils have already enrolled for the new school year.

Mr Raja said he hopes within two years, the charity will have more than 200 pupils studying at the school.