- Parents angry that Islamic group is to take over their largely white school
- Tauheedul Education Trust to run Highfield Humanities College, Blackpool
- But petition by parents to postpone takeover has attracted 1,000 signatures
- Baffled by takeover move because less than 2 per cent of pupils are Muslim
Parents have voiced their anger that an Islamic group is to take over a secondary school where less than 2 per cent of pupils are Muslim.
A petition was started after it was revealed Tauheedul Education Trust (TET) is taking over Highfield Humanities College in Blackpool, Lancashire, which is in special measures.
The trust, which has faced controversy in the past, oversees the running of ten Muslim Schools in the northwest, West Midlands, and east London.
Parents have voiced their anger after it was revealed the biggest sponsor of Muslim academies in the UK is taking over Highfield Humanities College in Blackpool, Lancashire (pictured), which is in special measures
Many parents are concerned about its takeover of Highfield, a secondary school that has failed to improve since it was deemed 'inadequate' a year ago, and claim governors were 'railroaded' into it by the government's regional schools commissioner.
According to Sian Griffiths and Julie Henry at The Sunday Times, some parents are confused why a largely white school is to be run by a sponsor that heads up Islamic faith schools.
TET insists Highfield will retain its non-faith character but many parents are still worried, with a petition calling for the takeover to be postponed attracting more than 1,000 signatures.
Spencer Shackleton, whose 15-year-old son is a pupil at Highfield, said: 'It is shocking. TET sponsors Islamic-faith schools and Highfield is... in a town where less than 1 per cent of the population is Muslim.'
On the petition, Esther Paiva wrote: 'I think it is awful parents have not been consulted on this. Seems they have already made their minds up whether the parents like it or not.'
Simon Humphries said: 'I chose for my kids to go to a non-religious school for a reason and I don't want that choice to be taken away from us now!'
Others support the takeover, however, and hope it can improve the situation a Highfield.
A petition was started by parents. It attracted 415 signatures online (pictured) and has since topped 1,000
Parent Louise Graham told the Sunday Times: 'The school needs change and needs to be taken forward and I think TET is the right organisation to do this.'
Elsewhere, TET runs the strongly-performing Tauheedul Islam Girls' High School in Blackburn, Lancashire, although the school was criticised for requiring pupils to wear an Islamic headdress.
Since this came to light two years ago the school has scrapped the rule.
At another TET school, Olive Primary, Channel 4's Dispatches exposed staff describing music and clapping as 'satanic' in undercover footage.
But since then Ofsted investigations of both have led to positive feedback.
TET said: 'TET is one of the most successful multi-academy trusts in the country... We have a long history of working with non-faith schools to support real, long-lasting improvements.
'We are committed to bringing this expertise and experience to Highfield.'