Department of Education Approves An ‘Eternal’ (Akaal) Primary School For Derby, UK

Dr Daljit Singh Virk

DERBY, UK—The Department for Education (DfE) has approved a free school for Derby in its 6th round under the academies provisions which allow parental and community groups to set up schools. The Akaal Primary School has been proposed by the Derby Sikh community. Previous proposal was changed after advice from the New Schools Network to make it more inclusive and broad based.

The Akaal Primary School plans to be fully inclusive to children of all communities especially migrant children from the Eastern European communities, or anyone else, along with the Sikh children. Keeping in view the needs of such children the school will have specialism in literacy with emphasis on numeracy.

Dr. Daljit Singh Virk, chair of Akaal Education Trust Derby said: “We did extensive surveys with the community and the city council and found that there is a need for more schools in the Normanton and Pear Tree, as there is shortage of school places in the area.

We propose to create an outstanding school where pupils will not only excel academically but also in all round development, e.g., morally, socially, spiritually, physically, and mentally. The major emphasis will be on inculcating ethical values, and better social behavior aiming towards law abiding, and tolerant citizens. The school will have an extended day with one-to-one attention to all students, i.e. low achievers and talented alike. The school proposes a five-term year to allow parents of immigrant students to visit their original countries without need for absenting from the school. The school will follow thematic approach to education using International Bacculearte (IB) approach,” he added.

“The Akaal School is supported by an excellent team of experts in education which includes head of outstanding school, school inspectors, experienced educationists, and governors, and experts in International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP) system of education and Early Foundation Years.

A specialty of the school will be to work in partnership with parents and carers for the welfare of students. There will be a provision for a community support worker to work closely with the community.

We will be supported by the New Schools Network in the pre-opening stage for the school that will open in September 2015, with two forms of reception, and year I.”

Dr Virk said, “Our market study revealed that 60% demand for school places was from non-Sikhs, and we want to make the school truly international. That will develop global citizens. Our challenge now is to translate the demand into actual admissions. We shall consult the community and hold community get together in the pre-opening stages to shape the future of our school.

We will be working closely with the Education Funding Agency and City Council for allocating suitable premises for the school within Normanton and Pear Tree areas.”

Dr Virk added, “The Akaal Primary School means a school in the name of the Eternal Being, and hence the school will be all-inclusive regardless of gender, social status, religion, or no faith, and will be guided by the Sikh ethos of equality, liberty, fraternity, and service. We shall teach all religions as per Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE) guidelines.”


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