The proposed site photographed earlier this week
Sofia Moussaoui, Chair of the Islamia Primary School Govering Board, has written to parents troday following the Brent Cabinet's approval of the report that cleared the way for consultation on the move of the school from Queens Park to the former Roe Green Strathcona site in Preston, Wembley.
The letter reveals that the Yusuf Islam Foundation plans to redevelop the Queens Park site - a prime site in a well to do area.
In a passage that has annoyed parents, who sense a fait accompli as regards the consultation, Ms Moussaoui states:
...This approval in principle is subject to final approval upon the conclusion of the consultation process, but it should be no more than a formality.
The letter conscludes:
We would encourage you all to provide constructive suggestions as to how we can the transition easier for both teachers and parents.
No mention of children!
The text of the letter to parents and carers:
I am writing to update you on the proposed relocation of the school.
I am pleased to report that the Yusuf Islam Foundation, the GB[Governing Board] and the Local Authority have agreed terms in principle for the relocation of the School. The Yusuf Islam Foundation has agreed to withdraw the eviction notice in return for the GB committing to vacating the Salusbury Road site in July 2024 and in return for the Local Authority committing to provide an alternative site for Islamia by the same date.
The greement is yet to be signed but all 3 parties have committed to signing the document in its current agreed form. Brother Yusuf Islam is due to travel to London to sign and execute the agreement.
The Local Authority has proposed that Islamia relocate to the Strathcona Site which is located at the Roe Green Strathcona School Site, Strathcona Road, Wembley, HA9 8QW. Furthermore, the Local Authority is adamant that they have conducted extensive searches over the last couiple of years and that there are no other suitable sites within the Brent area,
The Yusuf Islam Foundation will be redeveloping its land and therefore ongoing occupation of the curent school site after the agreed July 2024 date is not an option.
The GB is aware of the 500 strong petition to relocate the School to a site in South Kilburn. This has been raised with the Local Authority who have confirmed that the site has already been earmarked for another school and that it will in any event not be ready for occupation for 4 years, Therefore, the site in South Kilburn is not a viable option.
The priority for the GB is to avoid the closure of Islamia, who in 2 years' time cannot continue to occupy the Salusbury Road site. Currently our only viable option to avoid closure is the relocation to the now closed Roe Green Strathcona School Site, Strathcona Road, HA9 8QW.
On Monday 12th September 2022, 5 members of the GB attended the Cabinet Meeting at Brent Civic Centre * where Councillors voted on the proposal to fund the relocation of Islamia to the Strathcona Site. In total the costs of the relocation and rebuild ** are estimated to be circa £12million. The Councillors approved the proposal and have committed in principle to providing the funds. The approval in principle is subject to final approval upon the conclusion of the consultation process, but it should be no more than a formality.
The next step for the GB is to conduct a informal consultation process which we hope to begin within the next 1-2 weeks. The informal consultation will run for 4 weeks. Thereafter, there will also need to be a formal consultation process.
We would encourage you all to provide constructive suggestions as to how we can make the transition easier for both teachers and parents.
** The plans are for the refurbishment of the existing buildings and the building of a new block. From the Cabinet Report:
4. Retain and refurbish all buildings on the Strathcona site and build a new block to meet 2FE accommodation requirements