Free school to be probed after MP’s concerns over extremism

Linda Riordan MP for Halifax.
Linda Riordan MP for Halifax.

A proposed free school is under investigation by the Department for Education (DfE) after it was linked to extremist views.

A flyer sent out regarding a meeting at the Sunniyy Centre, Francis Street, Halifax, upset some parents.

Links were drawn between the proposed Northern Lights Free School after one its leading figures Dr Fiaz Farooq was found to be a volunteer at the Sunniyy Centre.

Halifax MP Linda Riordan (above) made the DfE aware of the issues sparking the investigation.

Mrs Riordan said: “I think I would be failing in my position as MP if I didn’t raise the issue and concern expressed by parents in Halifax.

“This is not a faith school issue - if any other school had sent out a letter with this sort of language of hatred it would be investigated.”

The DfE said it is aware of a number of allegations relating to the Northern Lights Free School and they are being investigated urgently.

Sara Noor, of the Northern Lights Educational Trust, said: “The leaflet was not about the Northern Lights School and it was not issued, endorsed, authored, written or requested by the Northern Lights Educational Trust. We understand the DfE’s need to investigate allegations against Free Schools and we do not support any Free School Application that is proven to hold extremist views as such views are in complete contradiction to our ethos.”