Second Krishna-Avanti school to open in Leicester, UK


Evington Hall, Leicester, in the Midlands region of Britain, around 100 miles north of London. Evington Hall was built in 1830

LEICESTER’S FIRST HINDU SCHOOL
TO OPEN AT EVINGTON HALL

The I-Foundation has unveiled Evington Hall on Spencefield Lane in Evington
as the site of Leicester’s first Hindu state school.  The school will open
next September and is currently accepting applications for its first sixty
reception-aged pupils, until 15th January 2011.

When it opens, the Krishna-Avanti Primary School, Leicester, will become the
UK’s first cross-community Hindu school, providing a Hindu ethos but with
half its places allocated purely on the distance that parents live from the
school, regardless of their faith.  Opening year by year, it will grow by
2018 to provide 420 places for children aged 4-11 years old.

The school – which is being modelled on the hugely successful Krishna-Avanti
Primary School in Harrow (North London) – is expected to appeal to both
Hindus and non-Hindus alike.  The Harrow school – now in its third year –
has five applicants for every one place, having won a number of awards and
following its recent Ofsted report, which praised its “many outstanding
features”.

Contracts were exchanged on the grade II listed building yesterday (23rd
December) and the sale will be completed early in the New Year.  Set in five
acres of grounds – which will provide room for a large playground and
extensive playing fields – Evington Hall was, until 2007, home to the
Leicester Grammar Junior School.

A major refurbishment will be undertaken to provide state-of-the-art
facilities throughout the school, including the latest IT and sports
equipment, as well as a brand new vegetarian kitchen.  The playground will
receive a major overhaul, with the introduction of new climbing frames,
outside toys and soft surfaces.

The I-Foundation, the educational charity behind the school, is currently
engaged in a global hunt for its first headteacher and, with the purchase of
the site, the key components are now in place for the school to open for its
first cohort of students in September 2011.

Commenting on the purchase, I-Foundation Project Director, Pradip Gajjar,
says:

“This is a major step forward for us.  The fact that we will be able to
takeover a building which was, until as recently as three years ago, a fully
functioning school means that we could open our doors tomorrow if we had to.

“As the Government releases funding, we will be able to undertake a full
refurbishment, to turn what is already a beautiful site into a flagship
school for Leicester and the Hindu community.”

For more information about the school and to find out how to submit an
application, go to www.krishna-avanti-leicester.org.uk.

ENDS

For further information please call Ben Rich on 07713 509134 or email
ben@benrich.co.uk

There will be tour of the site, together with a full media briefing, early
in the New Year.  This is provisionally fixed for 7th January 2011 and the
exact arrangements will be confirmed nearer the time.

NOTES

Evington Hall is built on land which, in the 12th century, formed part of
the estate of Sir Richard de Grey, the Constable of Dover Castle.  In 1616,
it was sold to William Cavendish, Earl of Devonshire, whose family in turn
sold it to Dr. James Sherrard of Eltham.  When he died in 1737, the estate
was divided between Dr Sherrard’s five nieces, including Ann Coleman of
Market Harborough.  It was her descendent, Henry Coleman, who built Evington
Hall in about 1830 and who later becoming High Sheriff of Leicestershire.

The Hall remained as a private home until the early 1900s, when it was
purchased as a Convent.  It then became a girls’ Catholic boarding school,
which was attended by the sister of current Evington Ward councillor,
Michael Johnson.  It was sold again, becoming Leicester Grammar Junior
School.  When LGJS merged with the senior school, the new purchasers put
forward plans to develop the site for housing.  The latest purchase by the
I-Foundation, however, means that the Hall will retain its community use for
the foreseeable future.

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