for http://deshika.wordpress.com/ on Dec. 24, 2010
Evington Hall, Leicester, in the Midlands region of Britain, around 100 miles north of London. Evington Hall was built in 1830
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
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.