Stockport Launches Islamic Resources Packs for Schools

20 May 2005

Stockport Council’s Education Services will be the first education authority in the UK to introduce new resources developed by the Muslim Council of Britain to support the teaching of Islam in primary schools.

The Muslim Council of Britain’s Books for Schools project in Stockport will be launched at the Cheadle Muslim Association Community Centre and Mosque on Tuesday 24 May, 2005 at 4.30pm.

The launch will be attended by the 2005-06 Deputy Mayor of Stockport, Councillor Peter Burns; the Director for Education Services, Ed Blundell; Iqbal Sacranie, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain and Stockport primary and secondary school headteachers.

The Islamic resource packs for schools are designed to facilitate the teaching of Islam, which is already part of the national schools curriculum, alongside the teaching of other world religions.

Cheadle Muslim Association has funded the teaching packs for Stockport schools, with the Council’s Education Services, Library Service and schools providing ‘matched funding.’

Resource packs are made up of books, artefacts, CDs, videos and tailor-made teaching aids for primary children at Key Stage 1 (7 year olds) and Key Stage 2 (11 year olds). The resource packs cover basic Muslim beliefs and practices, through engaging and interactive class and small group projects. Resources for secondary schools are also being prepared.

The books and other resources have been tested in several local schools, including North Reddish Junior School in Stockport. Headteacher, Colin Manning, said: `The future is in the hands of young people in our schools today. The better they understand each other, the more secure that future will be. The Books for Schools project can make a significant contribution to that understanding.’

Councillor Mark Hunter, Leader of Stockport Council, said: `It is essential that we promote and protect tolerance, understanding and respect between different sections of our community. Schools are an ideal place to do this, so our young people grow up with an understanding of those around them. I am grateful to the local Muslim community in Stockport for their support of these new teaching materials.’

Iqbal Sacranie, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, said: `We believe education is the key to creating a vibrant and understanding society. These resources, developed by our team of educationalists, aim to overcome the barriers to the teaching of Islam experienced by so many of our teachers, by making available creative, engaging and child-friendly resources on Islam and Muslims. We want to ensure that every school child has access to high quality Islamic resources through their schools.’

Councillor John Pantall, Executive Member responsible for Diversity Strategy, added: `I very much welcome this joint initiative in Stockport schools. There is a great deal of ignorance about major faiths, resulting in dangerous and destructive myths. The use of the new materials will help develop understanding and encourage community cohesion throughout Stockport.’

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Notes to Editors:

1.Reporters and photographers are invited to attend the launch on Tuesday 24 May, 2005 at 4.30pm (please note that shoes should be taken off on entry to the Mosque).

2.Cheadle Muslim Association Community Centre and Mosque is located at 377 Wilmslow Road, Heald Green, Stockport (opposite Bolshaw Road and near the Belfry Hotel and Lakeland Plastics).

3.The Muslim Council of Britain (www.mcb.org.uk) is the UK’s representative Muslim umbrella body with over 400 affiliated national, regional and local organisations, mosques, charities and schools.

4.For further information please contact: Shabana Khan on 07792 607 691.

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