Law will protect Highfield from becoming faith school, government announces

Parents have reacted angrily to plans to academise Highfield
Parents have reacted angrily to plans to academise Highfield
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The pledge by the Tauheedul Education Trust (TET) that Highfield Humanities College will not become a faith school will be backed by law.

The trust, which has its roots in Islam and is set to take over the failing school after the government said it must become an academy, has consistently said it would remain non-denominational, and the Department for Education today said that status will be protected by law.

A spokesman said: “The contract between us and TET to run the school will include a legal requirement that the school cannot become a faith school should the decision be made to proceed with becoming an academy after the statutory consultation.”

Blackpool Council’s schools boss, Coun John Jones, said: “Every single school that TET is involved in the running of is classed as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, with a number having been hugely turned around from positions similar to Highfield’s.

“Ultimately, we want our children to get the best possible education and TET has a proven record of delivering that.”

Hamid Patel, from TET, has now written to parents and said: “Under our guidance, the school would be run as a non-faith, community school with no changes to names, uniforms or its mixed-sex status.

“Every child, regardless of their background, can succeed at Highfield and I am looking forward to the challenge of making it of Blackpool’s leading community schools.”

The consultation ends on Wednesday.

Parents are due to protest against the plans outside the school at 11am today.