London, Sept.25 (ANI): A Roman Catholic primary school could become the first in England to be run by a mosque after a dramatic rise in the number of Muslim pupils.
According to a Daily Mail report, church bosses want to close Sacred Heart RC Primary School, in Blackburn, Lancashire, because the number of Catholic students has plummeted from 91 per cent to just three per cent in a decade.
It is most likely to be handed over to the local Tauheedul mosque.
Around 95 per cent of the school's 200 pupils are of Asian origin. Many do not speak English as their first language and the majority follow the Islamic faith.
The Diocese of Salford has told Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council that it no longer believes it is "appropriate" for the church to be in charge.
The board of governors also made a decision to resign en masse because they believed they were not an accurate reflection of the local community.
Geraldine Bradbury, director of education at the Diocese, said population shifts meant there were only "five or six" Catholic pupils left at the school.
"We have never experienced a change to this extent before. We want to make sure that the educational needs of the community are met," she said.
The Tauheedul mosque is already responsible for a voluntary aided Islamic girls' secondary school in the town.
Under the mosque's leadership the school would "provide increased diversity... and offer a faith school that matches the population in this area of the town," the report says.
Hamid Patel, principal and chief executive of Tauheedul Islam Girls' High School, said the mosque would like to take over the running of Sacred Heart. (ANI)