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Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

#Divertion: B'Ham Islamic school used £1 million in British tax-payer money to build school in Pakistan

Local government officials in Birmingham have launched an investigation after an Islamic school in the city spent £1 million of British tax-payer’s money building a new school thousands of miles away in Pakistan.

The Al-Hijrah School is a state funded school established in 1999 and is the first ever Islamic educational institution in the city, home to a large Pakistani Muslim community. 

The school was placed in “special measures” by the Department of Education earlier this year after an examination by regulator Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED) found the school’s performance to be “inadequate”.

In June the school’s governing body was fired after OFTED investigators found a £900,000 “black hole” in its accounts.

The investigators were even forced to take out an injunction against the school’s former governor Waseem Yaqub after he allegedly led a “harassment campaign” against them. 

The trust which oversees Al Hijrah is now alleged to have spent the money on building a boys-only school in the city of Ziarat, a small town near the city of Quetta in Western Pakistan.

A spokesperson for OFSTED told the Birmingham Mail and Post: “We were concerned about the severe deficit the school has got itself into and where that money might be going.

“We put a board in place in the school with access to financial records and we carried out a retrospective investigation.

"We have gathered enough information to warrant further investigation into the use of public funds and we continue to work with the relevant statutory agencies.

“If we find anything criminal it will be referred to the police.”

OFSTED investigators also found that a number of staff members had no employment contracts and nearly 30 did not hold Criminal Record Bureau checks, both of which are essential for teachers. 

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