A Brent primary school threatened with eviction has urged the council to let it move to a new home on a nearby estate to avoid disadvantaged pupils “being left behind”.

Islamia Primary School, based in Queens Park, wants to be relocated to a new site set to be built in South Kilburn. 

The school is popular with the local Muslim community and supports many children who might not have English as a first language. It has been told it must leave its current home in Salusbury Road and a petition has been launched calling for a suitable location to be found to ensure it can meet pupils’ and their families’ needs. 

According to the petition, Brent Council said there is a shortage of land in the area, which means a new school cannot be built nearby. The school added that it has been offered the site at the former Roe Green Strathcona School but, since this is in Wembley, more than six miles away from Islamia, it would be difficult for many to reach.

The petition said: “[This] is highly unsuitable, unaffordable, unsafe and impractical for current families. It will sadly leave behind the most disadvantaged and vulnerable families.”

The site in South Kilburn has apparently been earmarked for Carlton Vale Infants School and Kilburn Park Junior School to share. But those at Islamia said these schools are operating below their capacity and therefore would not make best use of the new facilities. 

They argued that they would be better suited to move in since they do not have space for all those who apply and are one of the few Muslim faith schools in the area. 

The petition added: “Islamia is a heavily oversubscribed and popular faith school and the hardest primary school to get into in Brent. There are currently 420 pupils enrolled and the school also has to manage a long waiting list.

“Islamia is the only state funded Muslim denomination school in the area therefore, if the school closes down, this will have a detrimental impact on the lives of the Muslim children currently attending. For these reasons, it is utterly incomprehensible why Islamia, an oversubscribed Brent school, is not being considered for the new school.”

Cllr Muhammed Butt, leader of Brent Council, said: “We understand parents’ concerns about the future of their children’s school. The situation is far from ideal.

“Islamia Primary School in Queens Park is a Voluntary Aided School of the Yusuf Islam Foundation. Since the foundation issued a notice requiring the school to leave its current site, Brent Council has been working closely with both parties to find an alternative site beyond September 2024.

“Sites like these are very difficult to find, but we have been searching for suitable sites. No formal decisions have yet been made and any proposal to relocate the school will be subject to statutory consultation in which all parents, staff and stakeholders can share their views.”

The Local Democracy Reporting Service has contacted Carlton Vale and Kilburn Park for comment.