Hindu school relaunched

January 29, 2010

There has been a lot of coverage of the “new” Krishna Avanti Primary School in Edgeware, London although the school first opened in September 2008 (at the same time that Accord launched) and moved to its new buildings at the start of this school year.
Krishna Avanti is the first Hindu state school in Britain and is ‘voluntary aided’. This means that, like the majority of faith schools in Britain, it is legally able to discriminate in its employment and admissions arrangements according to religion.

Indeed the school prioritises practising Hindu families, and uses a definition of Hinduism disputed by some in the community. Unlike community schools, voluntary aided schools also do not have to teach the locally agreed RE syllabus. While Krishna Avanti claims that its RE lessons will be balanced, the school is under no requirement to make sure that they are.

Accord Chair Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain said:

“The best way of being fair to those of different religions—as well as those who are not religious–is not to give a separate school to each group that wants one. It is to make sure that all schools are inclusive of children from different backgrounds.

There was an inevitability about the first Hindu faith school opening, but it is still a shame. This school will mean fewer Hindu families sending their children to the other local schools, and that families who have different beliefs won’t be able to attend a school on their doorstep.”

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