Britain’s first state-funded Hindu school, Krishna-Avanti, opened in London on Monday and has reportedly been oversubscribed. It will be offering its pupils yoga, meditation and prayer as well as lessons, temporarily in an outdoor amphitheatre.
There are an estimated 15,000 Hindu children living in the borough, but the school will initially admit just one class of 30 four and five-year-olds.
It hopes to build up to a total of 236 places by 2014, including a nursery. Naina Parmar, the head, described the school as “a huge step forward for Britain’s one million Hindus”.
Some 587 secondary and 6,253 primary schools in England, representing around a third of the total, are faith schools. The vast majority are Christian. A handful are Muslim and Jewish.
A state-of-the-art building encompassing a meditation garden, an amphitheatre and numerous green innovations — such as a grass roof — will be open in September next year.